(Caryville, Tennessee – May 5, 2022)
A 58-year-old local truck driver was seriously injured last Thursday afternoon when his tractor-trailer was struck by a freight train. The collision occurred at the dangerous, and unguarded industrial crossing in Campbell County, just north of Caryville, Tennessee. The Knoxville and Cumberland Gap Railroad crossing is just to the west of Old Highway 63. The truck driver, Ralph Byrge of Huntsville, Tennessee was life-flighted to a hospital with serious injuries.
This Knoxville and Cumberland Gap Railroad crossing has been the site of three prior collisions. Yet, there are no active warning devices, such as lights and gates, at this crossing. It is very likely that the addition of lights and gates could have prevented this tragedy. Knoxville and Cumberland Gap Railroad and Operation Lifesaver know that 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 collisions by as much as 96%.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating this collision.