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Trash Truck Driver Injured At Dangerous, Unguarded Up Crossing

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(Puyallup, Washington – May 25, 2012)

The driver of a 30’ long flatbed truck hauling residential recycling containers was injured and hospitalized Friday morning about 7:10 A.M. when his truck was hit by a Union Pacific freight train travelling from Seattle to Portland at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of Seventh Street NW and UPRR tracks in Puyallup, WA.

The trucker, identified only as a 30-year-old man, was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup with undisclosed injuries after his northbound vehicle was struck on the right rear by the train, spun around spilling the trash containers across the area along the road and railroad, and landed on the southwest sector of the intersection.

The railroad and Seventh Street NW cross at an acute angle, making approaching trains difficult to see, yet is “protected” only by passive signage, completely lacking any automatic signals such as flashing lights, bells or crossing gates to protect the driving public from the 18 trains which cross daily at speeds of up to 45 mph.           

Puyallup Police Captain Scott Engle said that no citation was issued to the driver, but that “Police will review video evidence as part of their investigation into the crash.”

How police plan to obtain access to the videotape of the accident is anybody’s guess, as railroads seldom offer law enforcement officers the opportunity to view such evidence derived from cameras mounted on the locomotive.

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