(Ashland, Kentucky – August 24, 2012)
A Kenworth tractor hauling a semi-trailer flatbed became the 17th accident between a train and a vehicle at the non-gated crossing of CSX railroad tracks and 19th Street in Ashland, KY Friday morning when it was struck by a CSX freight train.
Fortunately, no one was injured, but the crossing, which is equipped with flashing lights but lacks crossing gates, accommodates an average of 33 trains, including daily Amtrak trains at top speeds of 40 mph, has become the site of an unusually high number of accidents.
The crossing serves the Mansbach Metal Company at 1900 Front Street, and the 18-wheeler, owned by Murray Transport of Paintsville, KY, was just leaving the business.
“I was standing over there and all of a sudden ‘Pow!’ There was still dust flying,” recalled John Hunt of Coal Grove, KY, who witnessed the accident. Hunt added that he hears so many train horns during the average day that he did not even notice when the train sounded a warning.
Mike Wooten of Ashland, KY, an employee at another nearby business, said “I was working and I heard a big ‘ Kapow!’ and I looked up and saw it. It was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. It was like something you’d see on a movie.”