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Thursday, 12 May 2011 15:06

Man dies in collision with train

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By Rose Sanchez

The driver of a semi-truck is dead after his truck and tanker collided with a Canadian Pacific Railway train.
The incident occurred just before 10 a.m. at the Range Road 114 level crossing, midway between Tilley and Suffield, said Mike LoVecchio, spokesperson for Canadian Pacific Railway.

The eastbound fully-loaded freight train made contact with the tanker truck as the train passed through the crossing, but did not derail. The impact caused an explosion and fire. Plumes of black smoke spiraled into the sky.

The locomotive engineer and train conductor were not injured, but were transported to Brooks Hospital as a precaution. The driver of the semi-truck was confirmed dead.

Fire crews from Tilley, Patricia, Brooks and Rolling Hills remained on scene putting out fires. 

LoVecchio says the crossing is marked with cross-bucks — white ‘Xs’ notifying drivers they are about to cross over active train tracks. There are no lights or crossing arms.

“No regulated commodities from the trail were involved in the incident,” said LoVecchio.

There was also no impact to the immediate surrounding community and no evacuation was ordered.

Further investigation into the incident will take place.

Even if the crew on the train could have spotted the semi-truck prior to reaching the intersection, they would not have been able to stop on time.

“Fully-loaded freight trains cannot stop on a dime,” said LoVecchio. “It can take up to a mile to stop a freight train and they can’t swerve.”

In Canada, freight trains have the right of way through crossings.

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