Truck and train collide in Hopewell
By Caitlin Davis, Senior Staff Writer
Jun 13, 2014, 11:35
CAITLIN DAVIS/HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT Members of the Hopewell Fire and EMS spread an absorbent sand mixture to soak up any gasoline or chemicals that may have leaked from the accident.
HOPEWELL — A tractor trailer collided with a train, and then a car, on Tuesday afternoon in the industrial park in Hopewell. There were no injuries reported, however the front of the truck sustained substantial damage as did the car. An investigation into the crash is still ongoing.
Douglas Suyes, with the Hopewell Police Department, said the train had backed up and was going to get additional cars attached. The driver of the tractor trailer, from Praxair, told police he thought the train was going to stay stopped for a longer period of time.
“There’s no policy other than they were to blow the whistle to come back across,” Suyes said of the train operator. “They were there for just a few seconds. The tractor trailer attempted to proceed after he backed up.”
As the train started to move forward, blowing the whistle, the driver of the tractor trailer saw the impending collision and began to back up. However due to a car stopped behind the truck, also waiting for the train to pass, the truck was not able to back up far enough.
“The train blew the whistle and by that time he couldn’t stop in time so struck the cab of the truck and as the tractor trailer is backing up, he backed right up into the car,” Suyes said.
Kevin Johnson, an officer with the Hopewell Police Department who also responded to the accident, said the potential for the crash to be much worse was there, noting the truck was mere feet from striking a utility pole and could have easily backed up over the car.
“The train might have only been going six miles per hour but it’s so heavy he can’t hit the brakes and stop in time,” Johnson said of the accident.
Though the accident was not severe and just involved damage to all three modes of transportation, Johnson said it was an opportunity for education to other drivers in and around the city.
“The truck just has to wait for the train,” Johnson said. “If there’s tracks, you have to be careful.”