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December 17, 2012

Train derails: Norfolk-Southern train derails after striking semi-truck

LOGANSPORT — A train derailed Monday morning after it hit a semitrailer that was stopped on the tracks.

Cass County Sheriff Randy Pryor said his department was called just after 9 a.m. to the Norfolk-Southern Railroad tracks where the engines on a freight train derailed after hitting a semitrailer stopped on the tracks at 175 West and Ind.25. Pryor said the train dragged the trailer about 100 feet, and the crash caused the train’s four engines to leave the tracks.

There were no injuries.

Pryor said the truck driver, 47-year-old David Jones of Indianapolis, told investigators he did not see the train coming. Pryor said the truck driver was stopped at a stop sign on 175 West and only the rear of the trailer was sitting on the tracks.

He said the engines traveled about 2,000 feet after leaving the tracks because of the speed of the train.

Jones was driving a truck for Gradex Inc., an Indianapolis-based contractor. Only train personnel were on the train, Pryor said.  

The Cass County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police, state highway personnel, Rural Metro and Logansport and Clymers fire departments responded to the scene.

The train was owned by Norfolk Southern and was traveling from Decatur, Ill. to Pittsburgh, Pa., according to Dave Pidgeon, a spokesperson for Norfolk-Southern.

Pidgeon said he could not comment on the cargo but called it a “general merchandise train.” He said there was no reported spillage of fuel or cargo from any of the cars.

Pidgeon said Monday that the railroad had contractors at the site who were attempting to repair the track and return the train to the rails so that it could deliver its freight.

“We expect all of that to be done by midnight tonight,” Pidgeon said.

State police were also on scene and had an officer investigated the truck to see if there were any mechanical problems.

“He didn’t find any mechanical failure,” Slocum said.

The sheriff’s department wrote Jones a citation for failure to yield, Pryor said.

Pidgeon said the sheriff’s department would take the lead on the investigation but that the railroad was conducting its own investigation.

On Monday, a section of Ind. 25 was closed because police were concerned that the front part of the train, which was sitting on the bowed rail, could be a danger to the roadway.

Pryor said Monday evening he believed the road would be open today.

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