Railroad News

Virginia Garbage Truck Operator Seriously Injured at Dangerous, Unguarded Norfolk Southern Crossing

By December 21, 2016 No Comments

(Abingdon, Virginia €“ December 19, 2016)

A 24-year-old, Bristol, TN operator of a Waste Management garbage truck was flown by helicopter to the Bristol Medical Center after the truck he was driving was struck by a Norfolk Southern train. The collision took place at the dangerous and unguarded intersection of NS railroad tracks and Kenwarn Lane in Abingdon, VA Monday morning at about 11:40 A.M., EST.

spun, and left barely recognizable as a vehicle by a one of a

The driver, David Anderson, was thrown from the truck€™s cab when the westbound 59-car train struck it. A statement from his father, Stan Anderson, to Bristol Herald Courier Staff Writer Zach Irby, said that the victim was €œgetting up and sitting up, but very sore. He just needs plenty of healing time along with God€™s touch.€

The crash was the third to occur at that railway/roadway crossing, with a total of five injuries now having been suffered there.  According to Federal Railroad Administration records, there is a daily average of 16 Norfolk Southern trains that cross there at a maximum allowable speed of 55 mph.

Allen Hudler, who lives across from the intersection, was highly critical of railroad safety efforts €“ or lack thereof €“ at grade crossings €œSomething definitely needs to be done to prevent all these accidents from happening here in our own backward,€ adding that €œThere are no signs or warning signals at this crossing at all.€

The Herald Courier writer reported that €œThere are no lights or warning signs nearby because the crossing where the accident happened on Monday is a private crossing on private property, according to Norfolk Southern officials.€

Irby went on to say that €œIn a newly-released report on railroad safety, the Federal Highway Administration said that safe operation at private crossings should not be overlooked and that a limited number of private crossings have active traffic control €“ but it€™s not required to have signals, only warning signs. The report also mentions that companies should review and monitor private crossings.€

It is virtually certain that if this crossing was equipped with signals, such as lights and gates, this collision would not have happened. Both Norfolk Southern 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 accidents by as much as 96%.

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