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Train hits truck in Knoxville, driver barely escapes

Navigating train tracks can still be a risky proposition, especially if the crossing equipment is faulty or if there are no warning signs at all. But getting stuck on the tracks while a train is coming can be a very scary situation, because there is a huge size disparity between the size and weight of the train and whatever is sitting on the tracks.

The driver of a tractor-trailer in Knoxville, Tennessee, fortunately survived a collision with a freight train recently, after his truck became stuck on the tracks near Amherst Road.

According to police, the 49-year-old truck driver was not trying to beat the train, but his truck became stuck. No charges were filed against the 38-year-old train engineer in the accident. It is not known how far in advance the train operator saw the truck and if there was enough room to stop.

Luckily the truck driver heard the warning bells of the crossing gates come on, and he was able to escape his truck before it was hit, police said. The man's truck was carrying construction equipment.

The train was carrying ethanol and butane, and the truck was leaking diesel fuel, which means a hazardous materials team had to come to the scene. Luckily the chemical cars on the train were far enough away from the engine car that they did not spill.

This is clearly a situation that could have been much worse if the driver did not have time to escape his truck and the chemicals spilled, but fortunately in this case there were no injuries. If there were injuries, the truck driver may have wanted to consult with a personal injury lawyer about whether or not the train company could be held liable.

Source: Knoxville News-Sentinel, "Train strikes tractor-trailer stuck on tracks; driver OK," Jim Balloch, Feb. 7, 2012

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