Slow-moving Train hits truck in Queens

Repost from CBSNewYork
[Editor:  Even very slow-moving trains can become entangled in severe and unpredictable accidents.  Imagine a collision like this in Benicia’s Industrial Park, with nearby businesses and oil storage tanks.  – RS]

Tractor-Trailer Bursts Into Flames After Being Hit By Freight Train In Queens

By Janelle Burrell, July 8, 2015

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The driver of a tractor-trailer is recovering after his truck burst into flames when it was hit by a slow-moving freight train carrying garbage in Queens.

It happened around 1 a.m. Wednesday on Rust Street near 57th Place in Maspeth.

Sources said the truck driver did not see the train approaching the intersection as the train’s operator, who was going about 15 miles per hour, tried to brake and blew his horn to alert the driver, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.

But the train still ended up clipping the truck, dragging the cab a few hundred feet before it came to a stop and burst into flames.

The truck driver, from New Penn Trucking, managing to escape. Crews rushed him from the scene with minor injuries.

“It’s a surprise to me and it’s mind boggling, but I’m glad he walked away from it,” said co-worker Julius Hall. “I’m glad he walked away.”

The train operator walked away unhurt and has been interviewed by police.

The first railroad crossing warning gate was destroyed by the impact. Police say it’s not clear whether it had been working.

The other warning gate on the other side of the intersection appeared operational and was still in the down position when investigators arrived on scene.

CBS2 reached out to the railroad company, New York and Atlantic Railway, but they have not returned a request for comment.