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Train Crashes Into Tractor Trailer

By: Amanda Price Email
By: Amanda Price Email

A train slams into a tractor trailer in Johnson County and nobody gets hurt.

It happened near the American Standard Plant in Hager Hill.

We spoke with the driver of the tractor trailer to find out what went wrong.

The driver of the tractor trailer says he simply took a wrong turn down a dead end road and was trying to turn back around. He says he never imagined this would happen.

Timothy Lopus, the driver says, “And you're looking at how fast the trains coming at you and you hear the whistle you know and you're looking at the train and thinking there is no way I’m going to be able to get out of here in time so instinctively you say if I want to live I need to jump out of the truck and run.”

Witnesses told police when the train hit the tractor trailer, it sounded like an explosion.

The CSX train crashed into the back of the truck, dragging it more than 20 feet.

Lopus says, “It could have been a lot worse, you know I was glad it wasn't worse then it was, nothing on the trailer, that type of thing.”

Lieutenant Tom Wyatt, with Johnson County Sheriff’s Department says, “If you have the right mixture of chemicals on the truck it could have been a pretty bad incident, if it would have been a truck hauling chlorine or some type of a hazardous material it could have been a very bad incident.”

The driver says with roads that narrow, signs should be posted saying no trucks allowed.

Wyatt says, “Backing your truck onto the train tracks is not a good idea. Especially if it's going to take you a little bit to get off the tracks.

Lopus says, “Everything was against me in the case of dead end street, no where to turn around except for here, no arms.”

Lopus says he couldn't see the train coming from very far away.

Wyatt says, “This particular case trains have the right of way. If you're on the tracks and you hear a train coming, get off the tracks. That’s the best way to avoid being struck by a train.”

Police say they're just glad the damage was minor and no one was hurt.

The tractor trailer driver, Timothy Lopus, was issued a citation for failure to yield.


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