Thursday, March 24, 2005
Train hits truck in Southwest Roanoke
Posted: 3:50 p.m.The Roanoke Times e-mail this story Printer-friendly version
A tractor-trailer loaded with scrap steel was struck by a Norfolk Southern coal train in Southwest Roanoke at 2:20 p.m.
The truck, which was going to Virginia Scrap Iron, was trying to cross the tracks near the 2900 block of Roanoke Avenue. The trailer was hit by the train and dragged 200 to 300 feet, officials said.
The driver, whose name has not been released, was not pinned inside the truck but firefighters had to stabilize him before they could remove him. He was taken to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital where he was listed in stable condition, according to officials at the scene.
Robin Chapman, spokesman for NS, said the 155-car coal train was traveling from Bluefield, W.Va., to Clover. The track speed at the site of the crash is 15 mph, he said. The truck was using a private crossing that has no electronic gate, he said.
Friday, March 25, 2005
Collision of train, truck injures man, stalls rail traffic
The tractor-trailer's driver needed help to get out of the cab, which had to be stabilized with wooden blocks first.By Lindsey Nair 981-3334The Roanoke Times e-mail this story Printer-friendly version
A Norfolk Southern train struck a tractor-trailer in Southwest Roanoke Thursday afternoon, injuring the truck driver and interrupting rail traffic for several hours.
The crash occurred about 2:20 p.m. behind Hanson Pipe and Products in the 2700 block of Roanoke Avenue Southwest.
"All we heard was a big crash and a boom and then we saw a big cloud of smoke," said William Morris, a Hanson employee.
Roanoke Fire-EMS Capt. Willie Wines Jr. said the trucker was going to Virginia Scrap Iron with a load of scrap steel when the train struck his rig and pushed it 200 to 300 feet. The 155-car coal train hit the trailer portion of the tractor-trailer about halfway back.
The truck driver was not pinned inside the cab, but firefighter/medics had to stabilize the tractor with cribbing, or wooden blocks, before going in to assist the man. Cribbing was used to ensure that the rig did not shift while rescuers were inside.
Wines said the tractor came to rest in such a position that the driver would have had to jump a long way to the ground had he not been helped. He was reported to be in stable condition at the scene with some pain but no obvious sign of broken bones or life-threatening injury.
Neither Roanoke Fire-EMS, Norfolk Southern nor Roanoke police released the name of the driver on Thursday. He was taken to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, but his condition was not available.
Robin Chapman, a spokesman for NS, said the train was traveling from Bluefield, W.Va., to Clover. He said the railroad speed limit at the crash site is 15 mph and the crash occurred at a private crossing with no electronic gate.
Fire-EMS officials said the tracks were closed in both directions until NS could clear the debris.
No charges had been filed in connection with the incident on Thursday evening.
Staff writer Lois Caliri contributed to this report.
Saturday, March 26, 2005
Truck did not slow at crossing, NS says
The engineer was ringing his bell and the "ditch lights" were flashing just before the crash, a railroad spokesman said.By Lindsey Nair 981-3334The Roanoke Times e-mail this story Printer-friendly version
The tractor-trailer struck by a coal train in Roanoke on Thursday did not slow down before rolling into the locomotive's path, Norfolk Southern officials said Friday.
Robin Chapman, a spokesman for NS, said the train's conductor reported that the driver of the tractor-trailer drove straight across the tracks as the train approached about 2:20 p.m. The 155-car train struck the trailer portion of the tractor-trailer about halfway back and pushed it 200 to 300 feet.
The truck driver still had not been identified by any agency Friday, so he could not be reached for comment. Roanoke police spokeswoman Aisha Johnson said their department turned over the investigation to NS because it occurred at a private crossing on NS property, and Chapman said the railroad typically does not release the names of people involved in such incidents.
Roanoke Fire-EMS, which transported the man by ambulance to a local hospital, could not release the driver's name because of medical confidentiality laws. But Assistant Chief of Operations Ralph Tartaglia said Friday that the man's injuries did not appear life-threatening on Thursday.
Chapman said the crossing where the wreck occurred is not on a public road, so it is not equipped with gates or lights, only a sign. In addition, a whistle ban exists in that area, making it unlawful for the engineer to blow the whistle in warning as he approaches the crossing.
The speed limit on the tracks at the site is 15 mph, but Chapman said he did not know how fast the train was going.
The engineer was ringing his bell, and the "ditch lights," two lights positioned low on the front of the locomotive, were flashing just before the crash, Chapman said.
Fire-EMS officials have said the tractor-trailer driver was heading to a scrap yard owned by Virginia Scrap Iron & Metal Co. Mary Ward, president of the company, said their drivers usually pick up scrap material and drive it to the yard, but the driver of the tractor-trailer Thursday was from another company.
She said she has not heard of any problems at that crossing from her drivers in the past.
On Friday, Chapman said NS police had not placed any charges in connection with the crash.