(Mecklenburg County, North Carolina – May 13, 2013)
A head-on collision between a CSX freight train carrying a single car loaded with lumber and a maintenance of way work truck designed for both highway and railroad travel caused what were at first thought to be non-life-threatening, but later upgraded to life-threatening. This wreck occurred early Monday afternoon at about 1:00 P.M. on CSX railroad tracks near the intersection of Belmeade Drive and Mount Holly Road in western Mecklenburg County, NC.
The poor accessibility of the wreck site caused much grief for Charlotte-Mecklenburg firefighters as they responded to the 911 call for assistance. Battalion Chief Stanley Reed said the fire/rescue crews tried to reach the site via various routes unsuccessfully before finally resorting to walking the victim on a stretcher a half mile to where an ambulance could take the man, who was driving the Hi-Rail truck, to the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. The employees on the CSX train were unhurt.
Speculation was that the CSX train crew was switching an industry located off the main line and left a main line switch open without flag protection.
- When railroad employees themselves become victims of accidents occurring due to apparent human error, the safety procedures – or lack thereof – that result in death or serious injury to members of the public become even more suspect.