(New Holland, Pennsylvania – October 4. 2014)
A box truck driver attempting to make a delivery in an industrial area of New Holland, PA was blindsided by a Norfolk Southern train as it came from behind a trackside building early Saturday morning at about 1:26 A.M., EDT, resulting in heavy damage to the truck and serious injury to the driver. The crossing, Brimmer Avenue, did not have any active warning devices, such as lights and gates to warn the driver of the oncoming train. Buildings border both the tracks and the street, forcing anyone driving on Brimmer Avenue to virtually endanger the vehicle and its occupants in order to see down the NS tracks in either direction.
Wayne Nocton, 47, of Waynesboro, PA was injured when the train overturned his truck, and he was subsequently taken to Lancaster General Hospital where he was admitted for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
It is virtually certain that if equipped with lights and gates this accident would not have happened. Both Norfolk Southern and Operation Lifesaver all know lights and gates are the most effective type of protection at railroad crossings. Studies that have been conducted over fifty years ago confirm that lights and gates offer the ability to drastically reduce the number of vehicle/train accidents by as much as 96%.
The train was in switching mode, making a delivery of freight cars to Musselman’s Lumber Company, and could have been travelling at 30 mph, the maximum allowable speed in the industrial area. The crash was the second to occur at that crossing.