Truck driver cited for collision with train

May. 01, 2013 @ 05:08 PM

The driver of a tractor trailer hit by a freight train Tuesday was charged with stopping on the railroad tracks by Monroe Police.
At about 4:45 p.m., motorists were stopped at the traffic light where Rocky River Road and Old Charlotte Highway intersect. Jeff Baker, driver of the truck that was hit, stopped on the railroad tracks in the eastbound lane of Old Charlotte Highway.
When the railroad cross arms began to lower, Baker tried to turn to the right, but was surrounded by traffic.
"We do know the collision pushed the truck forward, but we're not sure if the driver moved forward on his own," MPD Lt. David Morton said. "It caused a chain reaction of vehicles hitting other vehicles."
A CSX freight train struck the tractor trailer in the left rear corner. Four other vehicles were damaged. Four people were taken to Carolinas Medical Center-Union for treatment.
"But none had visible injuries," Morton said. "They were complaining of bumps and bruises."
The collision caused an estimated $300,000 in damage, he said. The truck driver just picked up a load of PVC pipe from Charlotte Pipe and Foundry less than a mile from the railroad tracks.  Crews are scheduled to clean spilled pipe and debris on Old Charlotte Highway Wednesday evening.
"There was some damage to the railroad crossing arms," Morton said. "Replacing that will cost around $150,000."
Until the crossing arms are repaired, CSX train operators will stop trains before the intersection and light flares to warn drivers.