The residents of Long View, North Carolina got a surprise early in the morning when a semi-truck and a freight train collided. A Long View police officer, Raymond Denton, observed a semi-truck stalled on the railroad tracks at 8:00 am on the morning of May 14, 2012. Denton tried to get communications to tell Norfolk Southern, the freight line that operated on that track, to stop the train. Norfolk Southern responded saying that they were not able to stop the train and to inform the semi-truck’s drivers to clear the track immediately.
There was no time to clear the track. Seconds after Norfolk Southern responded, the train smashed into the semi-truck stalled on the track, splitting the tractor-trailer in two. The two parts of the truck ended up on opposite sides of the train tracks. The train was traveling at a relatively slow rate of speed because it was coming through Long View and it is customary for the train to slow down as it traveled through the town.
The damage was not limited to the train and truck. The semi was carrying a chemical called disodium trioxosilicate, a white powdery substance. The chemical can have adverse reactions, but since it had been raining that morning, the rain likely diluted the effect of the chemical. However, HAZMAT crews were on standby to assist with the cleanup. In the end there was no significant impact on the environment.
Fortunately, no one was injured in the crash, but there was significant property damage to both the train and the tractor-trailer. There has been no determination of fault for the accident. If the truck stalled on the tracks due to some negligence on the part of the trucking company, then the trucking company will be responsible for the damage to the truck and the train. If however, a mechanical failure happened that was not the fault of the trucking company or the drivers, then the company will not be liable for the damage.
Though no one was seriously injured in this instance had the driver of either vehicle behaved differently the consequences could have been deadly. If you have been injured in an accident and you believe that you are entitled to recovery, please call the Charlotte personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at 704-370-2828.
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