Skip to Main Content
Railroad News

Hazmat-Filled Truck Stuck On High-Profile Crossing Smashed By NS Train

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Long View, North Carolina – May 14, 2012)

A semi-trailer truck hauling bags of disodium trioxosilicate was crushed by a Norfolk Southern freight train shortly after 8:00 A.M. Monday morning when it became high-centered on the elevated crossing of NS railroad tracks and 33rd Street, NW in Long View, NC, triggering hazardous material recovery operations response to the accident scene.

The crossing is equipped with flashing lights, bells and gates, but what it lacked could have prevented the accident: an MUTCD-recommended W10-5 “Low Ground Clearance” warning sign to warn the drivers of 18-wheelers and other vehicles requiring a less profiled approach to and passage over railroad tracks.

Driving through a heavy rain, Long View Police Officer Raymond Denton came upon the situation prior to the presence of any train, and contacted railroad authorities in a vain attempt to stop any approaching train traffic. But as an answer to his plea for halting trains, “They (Norfolk Southern) called back and said they couldn’t get the train stopped, to get off the tracks,” recalled Denton.

Disodium trixosilicate, which is used as a soft metal cleaner and degreaser, is a corrosive chemical that is known to cause severe skin burns, eye damage and the risk of respiratory irritation, and is reactive to water, which was present in abundance due to the downpour.

Although no injuries were reported, HazMat teams worked for six hours to clean up the spilled, diluted chemical and to secure the safety of the area.

The truck was owned by CRST Expedited of Cedar Rapids, IA, and was being operated by Timothy Brooks, 50, and Gregory Nagel, 57, both from Texas.


Railroad News


Train crash cases are unique and complex with many different potential pitfalls, such as federal preemption. Anytime I get hired or even get a call from a train crash victim, my very first call is to Nathan’s firm. Nathan’s knowledge and experience in handling and trying cases against these litigation savvy railroad companies gives me the confidence to know that the clients and cases I refer to him are getting the best of the best.

James Perrin Lubbock, Texas

I have had the opportunity to work as co-counsel with Nathan on several railroad crossing accidents cases. In each case, Nathan always possessed an incredible knowledge of the law and the facts, possessed a great talent for aggressive - strategic legal planning and trial tactics while, at the same time, displaying great skill as an effective negotiator. I would recommend him to anyone without hesitation.

Scott McCluen Harriman, Tennessee

Nathan Karlin has my strongest endorsement in the field of railroad crossing cases and personal injury law. I had the pleasure of working with Nathan in a complex railroad personal injury case. I was impressed by Nathan’s knowledge, his work ethic, and his dedication to the client. I look forward to working with Nathan on future injury matters. I am also aware firsthand that he has obtained excellent trial and settlement results in numerous cases involving members of the public harmed by railroad companies.

Joseph M. Miller Mandeville, Louisiana

Nathan is a warrior fighting the railroads. As a fellow personal injury lawyer, I have constantly been impressed with his depth of knowledge and his capabilities from case to case. I’d take him into battle with me any day against the biggest railroads and insurance companies on the planet.

Jon C. Clark Austin, Texas

Bob Pottroff has fought for the victims of the railroads’ callous disregard for safety more than any other attorney that I know. I should know because I am currently Chair-elect of the Railroad Section of ATLA.

Robert Schuetze Boulder, Colorado

Mr. Pottroff has shaken the rail industry to its very roots. Settlements are now more common as a result of the way he has exposed the industry’s wrongdoing.

Mike Easley Arkansas

Bob Pottroff’s work in railroad safety law is unmatched and he has been the source of great advice and phenomenal creativity.

Roger Brown Jefferson City, Missouri

In addition to his substantive contributions to railroad grade crossing safety, I have personally observed his untiring efforts and contributions to improving the integrity of the legal system.

Elizabeth Hardy Lake Charles, Louisiana

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8