Truck/Train Crash : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Mar 17, 2000 - 11:26 PM

Fayetteville Firefighter Killed in Crash With Train at Grade Crossing The Associated Press

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - A firefighter driving back from a false alarm was killed Friday after he drove his ladder truck into the path of an oncoming Amtrak passenger train at a grade crossing. David Sharp, 31, of Aberdeen, was the only person on the ladder truck.

The southbound Silver Palm train was about a mile away from and approaching the downtown Fayetteville station when it hit the truck broadside on the driver's side. None of the 174 passengers and 15 crew members aboard the New York-to-Miami train were injured.

The Cumberland Street crossing is marked by lights, bells and gates, and all were working when the wreck happened, Amtrak spokesman Ray Lang said. The signals were still on and the gate was down as police and railroad workers investigated the wreck.

The firefighter would have broken department policy if he tried driving around the activated crossing signals.

"That's a violation if that did in fact occur," said Deputy Fire Chief James Hall.

Lang said accidents happen at train grade-crossing an average of every 90 minutes. In most cases, the warning signals are working.

The crumpled truck was pushed off the roadway and into a ditch after the impact. The train stayed on the rails and stopped about a city block away.

Sharp was returning with the truck to a downtown fire station around nightfall after a false alarm at a business, said city spokesman Jason Brady.

The train required no repairs and local investigators allowed it to continue its route at about 9 o'clock, Lang said. It is due to arrive in Miami mid-afternoon Saturday, Lang said.

AP-ES-03-17-00 2323EST ) Copyright 2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Can't imagine one of these ladder trucks maneuvering around a pair of closed gates. Sounds like a bunch of bull to me but we'll never know...the only eye witness is dead.

-- Doris (, March 18, 2000



A ladder truck is not a hook and ladder truck, which requires an operator and a tillerman (the person that sits on the back). A ladder truck is just a regular fire engine that carries ladders as its main role rather than being a pumper or combination truck. It's not hard to see how a firefighter, probably tired, wanted to get back to the station quickly after (yet another) false alarm. He thought he could beat the train but he was wrong. Tragic but understandable.

-- Jim Cooke (, March 18, 2000.

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