The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a train accident that led to the death of a 67-year-old truck driver from Springfield.
After dropping off seed at a nearby home on May 6, the truck driver crossed back over the tracks and was hit by the train in the 4000 block of Higby Road between Chillicothe and Averly.
After the crash, the trucks cab could be seen on one side of the railroad tracks. The other side contained the grain trailer. However, the trailer was empty at the time of the crash.
Investigators worked well into the evening to determine what led to the crash. One witness said that the train did not blow its horn before the crash and, as a result, failed to provide the driver with enough time to avoid the collision. The train was not carrying any hazardous materials.
The number of train collisions reported each year steadily decreased until 2013 and then suddenly began to rise again. In 2014, more than 800 injuries were reported at public and private crossings, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.
A driver is nearly 20 times more likely to suffer a fatal injury in a crash involving a train than in one involving another motor vehicle.
To prevent future collisions, drivers should adhere to the following recommendations when approaching a railroad with no guard arms:
- When approaching the tracks, pause and listen for an approaching train
- Drivers and passengers should always wear seatbelts
- Crossing areas should always be marked
Under the Train Horn Rule, locomotive engineers should begin to sound the horn 15-20 seconds in advance of all public grade crossings. However, if the train is going faster than 60 mph, the warning will arrive less than 15 seconds before crossing.
The Columbus personal injury attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy send their deepest condolences to those who have been affected by this terrible tragedy.