Posts Tagged ‘Grade crossing accidents’

Woman Killed in Grade Crossing Crash

October 27, 2020

A 64-year-old woman died early Monday after her car was struck by an Norfolk Southern train on West 111th Street in Cleveland.

Cleveland police are investigating the crash, which resulted in the closure for a while of streets between West Boulevard in Cleveland and Fry Avenue in Lakewood.

EMS personnel reported that the woman died at the scene.

Further details, including the identity of the victim have yet to be released.

Crash that Killed 2 Halts NS Chicago Line Traffic

June 8, 2020

Rail traffic on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern was halted for several hours on Sunday afternoon after a grade crossing incident that killed two near Toledo and involved two NS trains.

An Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesman said the two deaths occurred in a pickup truck that drove around a downed crossing gate at the crossing of Holland-Sylvania Road near Angola Road on the Toledo-Springfield Township border.

The pickup was struck by westbound NS train 25N which pushed the truck into the front of eastbound 18M, which was stopped at the time.

The 18M was being led by NS 8104, the Lehigh Valley heritage locomotive.

Police said the pickup truck caught fire after the collision and firefighters were called to extinguish the blaze.

The crash occurred about 1:45 p.m. The 18M was stopped at the scene until 6:30 p.m. and roads in the vicinity remained blocked until 7:15 p.m.

Authorities said debris from the truck was strewn along the right of way.

The victims were not initially identified. Police said the victims died at the scene and alcohol is not thought to have been a factor in the incident.

The truck was headed northbound on Holland-Sylvania before the crash.

Cardinal Passengers Ride Bus After Train-Truck Crash

December 24, 2019

Passengers aboard Amtrak’s westbound Cardinal on Monday finished their journey by bus after the train’s route was blocked in Lafayette, Indiana, by a grade crossing collision.

Lafayette police said a semi struck a southbound 133-car CSX train at the Wabash Avenue crossing before 5:30 a.m.

The crossing remained closed for 13 and a half hours as workers cleaned up spilled grain and diesel fuel.

The driver of the truck suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene. Police said they do not believe that drugs or alcohol were a contributing factor to the collision.

The driver told police he was unable to stop his truck in time to avoid the collision. He was headed northbound on Wabash Avenue at the time.

Amtrak Train No. 51 was terminated at the station in Crawfordsville, Indiana, located 27 miles south of Lafayette.

Passengers were loaded aboard four buses with three operating non-stop to Chicago and one bus making all local stops.

No. 51 was running 26 minutes late when it reached Crawfordsville. The Cardinal is scheduled to arrive in Crawfordsville at 6:48 a.m. and at Lafayette at 7:36 a.m.

OLI Says Grade Crossing Fatalities Rose in 2017

March 16, 2018

Deaths caused by trespassing on railroad property and at grade crossings rose in 2017, Operation Lifesaver said this week.

Trespassing fatalities jumped by 22.3 percent while those at grade crossings increased by 7.4 percent last year when compared with 2016 figures.

The data came from the Federal Railroad Administration, which said 575 died and 505 were were injured after trespassing on railroad property in 2017.

At grade crossings, 274 were killed and 807 were injured last year.

When comparing 2017 to 2016, total casualties, which includes deaths and injuries, rose 13.3 percent in trespassing incidents while the number of collisions at grade crossings increased 3.1 percent to 2,105 from 2,041 in 2016.

“We are very concerned about the increase in crossing incidents and deaths, and alarmed by the sharp rise in trespass deaths,” said OLI Interim President Wende Corcoran in a statement.
OLI said that the 2017 railroad trespassing casualty rate — deaths and injuries per million train miles — was 1.55, the highest level in the past decade.

The highway-rail incident rate — incidents per million train miles — was 3.01, an increase from 2016.

States with the most crossing collisions in 2017 were Texas, California, Illinois, Florida and Georgia. States with the most trespasser casualties — deaths and injuries combined — in 2017 were California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and Illinois.

2 NS Crew Members Hurt in Collision

March 6, 2018

A Norfolk Southern engineer and conductor were taken to a hospital for treatment on Tuesday morning after their train struck a truck in southwestern Pennsylvania that was carrying hydrochloric acid.

The accident occurred in Centerville in Washington County after the truck pulled into the path of the train at a grade crossing.

The train had three locomotives and 102 empty coal hoppers. No other injuries were reported and 15 nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution. Hazmat teams were reported to be on the scene.

Truck was on Crossing at Time of Crash

February 23, 2018

An on-board camera has shown that the garbage truck that was struck by an Amtrak special on Jan. 31, had entered a grade crossing after the crossing gates had gone down.

The National Transportation Safety Board said this week that the forward-facing camera in the lead locomotive showed that as the crossing came into view, the gates were down and the garbage truck was on the tracks at the grade crossing.

The NTSB said that witnesses to the crash reported the truck had entered the crossing after the gates were down at the crossing near Crozet, Virginia.

The special was carrying Republican members of Congress to an annual political retreat at the Greenbrier resort hotel in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

A passenger in the truck was killed and another suffered serious injuries. The truck driver came away with minor injuries.

Three Amtrak crew members and three passengers also suffered minor injuries.

The preliminary NTSB report said that the crossing has advance warning signs and pavement markings on its approach. It is equipped with crossbuck signs, warning lights, bells and gates.

The collision caused the front axle of the lead P42DC locomotive to derail, although it remained upright.

The NTSB will later release a finding of probable cause and issue safety recommendations.

Crossing Gates at Location of Amtrak Special Collision in Virginia May Have Been Malfunctioning, NTSB Says

February 3, 2018

The grade crossing gates in Virginia where an Amtrak special carrying congressmen to a political retreat struck a garbage truck on Wednesday may have been malfunctioning at the time of the collision, NTSB investigators have said.

The investigators told reporters that several witnesses have come forward to say that there had been “issues” with the gates in the days before the incident.

The collision occurred on the Buckingham Branch Railroad near Crozet, Virginia. One person inside the truck was killed. None of the congressmen, their aides or family members was seriously injured. They were en route to a Republican conference being held at the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

The NTSB said that the chartered train was traveling at 61 mph at the time of the accident, which is slightly over the 60 mph top speed for that section of track.

The NTSB investigation is expected to take up to two years to complete.

Man Killed in Amtrak Crash Identified

February 1, 2018

The person killed when a chartered Amtrak train carrying Republican congressmen on Wednesday struck a garbage truck in Virginia has been identified as a passenger in the truck.

Authorities said the victim was Christopher Foley, 28, of Louisa County, Virginia.

A second but unidentified passenger in the truck was airlifted to University of Virginia Medical Center with critical injuries, the Abermarle County Police Department said in a statement. The truck’s driver was listed in serious condition at the hospital.

The UVA Medical Center said it received six patients from the incident in Crozet, which is located about 13 miles west of Charlottesville. The train had Amfleet cars and P42DC locomotives on the front and rear.

The hospital said one of the patients it received was in critical condition, one was in good condition, three were still being evaluated and one had been discharged.

The National Transportation Safety Board had a team of investigators on the scene by Wednesday afternoon.

NTSB member Earl Weener said investigators wouldn’t speculate on any possible cause of the incident, which Amtrak said occurred at 11:10 a.m. on the Buckingham Branch Railroad. The line is used by Amtrak’s tri-weekly Chicago-New York Cardinal.

Earlier reports said about 100 GOP lawmakers, their aides and families were aboard the train en route to a political retreat being held between Wednesday and Friday at the Greenbrier resort at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

The retreat, which will continue in modified form, was to have a visits from President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

Weener said the NTSB will work with representatives from the Federal Railroad Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

He said that Pete Kotowski, a senior highway safety investigator for the NTSB, will be in charge of conducting the investigation.

Weener said investigators initially will focus on the collision site.

“Over the next few days our investigators will work on the scene to document the crash site and gather factual information,” Weener said. “Our mission is to understand not only what happened, but why it happened and to make recommendations to prevent it from happening again.”

He said that investigators will not seek to determine the probable cause while on the scene of the crash.

Weener did say that NTSB investigators will use a number of “factor groups” to analyze the collision site, including human, highway, vehicle, motor carrier and survival factors.

The human factors group, he said, takes into account the potential responsibility of the train engineer, including the operator’s background, licensing, experience and level of training as well as the possible influence of alcohol or drugs.

NTSB officials will attempt to recover recording devices located in the lead and trailing P42DC locomotives.

Weener said there is no evidence that the collision was the result of an attack of some kind.

“The NTSB does safety investigations so the fact that we are here, the presumption is that it was an accident,” Weener said. “Should we find anything that indicates differently, we’ll immediately involve the proper authorities.”

Amtrak spokeswoman Christina Leeds said it was premature to offer specific comment about the incident, but did say that accidents at rail crossings are far too common.

In a news release, Amtrak said it will in the coming days continue to work with the NTSB, law enforcement, Operation Lifesaver and other stakeholders to reduce the frequency of these accidents.

“This is an opportunity to remind everyone about the importance of exercising caution around railroad rights-of-way,” Leeds said.

The passengers aboard the train were taken by bus to the Greenbrier and by early afternoon the train had been taken to Charlottesville.

Amtrak Special Carrying GOP Congressmen to Political Retreat Strikes Truck in Virginia, 1 Dead

January 31, 2018

One person was killed and five others injured when an Amtrak train carrying 100 Republican members of Congress, their aides and their families to a political retreat struck a garbage truck in Virginia on Wednesday.

Killed was an occupant of the truck. Three people were transported to the University of Virginia Medical Center, including one who the hospital reported was in critical condition. Two others were taken to another medical facility.

None of the members of Congress, which included House Speaker Paul Ryan, were seriously injured, although Rep. Jason Lewis of Minnesota was taken to a hospital for a possible concussion.

News reports said that three congressmen who are doctors tended to the injured before emergency personnel arrived. They included Reps. Larry Bucshon of Indiana, Roger Marshall of Kansas and Brad Wenstrup of Ohio

The congressmen were traveling to a conference being held at the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

The accident occurred at 11:20 a.m. on the Buckingham Branch Railroad in Crozet, Virginia, near near Lanetown and Marymart Farm roads.

The route is used by Amtrak’s tri-weekly Chicago-New York Cardinal, which is scheduled to depart and arrive in New York on Wednesdays.

“Today’s incident was a terrible tragedy,” Ryan tweeted later. “We are grateful for the first responders who rushed to the scene and we pray for the victims and their families. May they all be in our thoughts right now.”

Amtrak issued a statement saying that two of its crew members and two passengers on the train were taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

The train remained upright and did not derail. Photographs made at the scene showed damage to the lead locomotive.

The train had departed from Washington for the retreat, which is to start today and run through Friday.

The train was pulled by P42DC No. 145, the Phase III heritage locomotive. The train of Amfleet equipment had a trailing P42DC, No. 4

A GOP spokesman said the retreat will continue as scheduled.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it sent a Go-Team to the scene to investigate.

News reports said that U.S. Capital Police were on the scene. One account said that following the crash, police wearing dark clothing surrounded the train with weapons drawn.

They had been aboard the train and got off shortly after the train stopped.

Passengers aboard the train were put aboard buses to be taken the rest of the way to the Greenbrier.

Ohio a Target of DOT Safety Campaign

January 14, 2017

Ohio is one of 20 states being targeted by a U.S. Department of Transportation grade crossing safety advertising campaign aimed at young males.

US DOTDOT has created an advertisement built on the theme of “Stop! Trains Can’t” that urges caution at railroad crossings.

The advertisement is part of a two-year effort by DOT to reduce accidents and fatalities at grade crossings. Partners in the campaign include the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration.

The campaign was prompted by an increase in railroad crossing fatalities in 2014. Last year 232 people died in grade crossing accidents.

About every three hours a person or vehicle is hit by a train in the United States.

Ohio was chosen for the campaign because it has crossings on the list of the nation’s 15 most dangerous grade crossings and is among the states in which 75 percent of grade crossing accidents occurred in 2015.

DOT will spend $7 million to buy advertising time and space in media outlets to target men aged 18 to 49. Male drivers are involved in nearly 75 percent of all railroad crossing accidents.

Other states that will see the advertisements are California, Illinois, Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Mississippi, New Jersey, Arkansas and Arizona.