(Alburtis, Pennsylvania – December 14, 2017)
Slick road conditions coupled with the lack of a crossing gate likely contributed to the tragic death of a Lowhill Township, PA motorist Thursday morning in Alburtis, PA. At about 5:30 A.M., EST a motorist’s vehicle was struck by a Norfolk Southern freight train hauling cars to Ohio. The train was in a westbound direction and struck the car as it rounded a curve which technically created the illusion of coming up behind him about
Marc Tobash, 28, saw the train too late and a witness said his truck “fishtailed” at the crossing as the victim tried to stop at the Alburtis Road (East Penn Avenue) crossing of NS rails. The crossing carries a daily average of a half dozen trains at a maximum allowable speed of 25 mph. The vehicle slid into the path of the train and was demolished as the train shoved the truck over two hundred yards before it could slide to a halt on the icy rails..
The crossing, where Federal Railroad Administration-kept records indicate the prior occurrence of a single, non-injury vehicle/train collision, is equipped with flashing lights, which NS officials claimed were working.
The NS tracks approach Alburtis Road (also known as East Penn Avenue on FRA records)at an extreme angle, as a long, sharp curve brings the railroad across the two-lane, heavily-travelled roadway from the northeast.