WA - Train Plows into Truck, Knocks Out Power

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Title: Train Plows into Truck, Knocks Out Power Driver of Rig Reportedly Escapes Serious Injury

Tuesday, April 18, 2000


A freight train slammed into a cold-storage truck yesterday near the Port of Seattle, downing nearby power lines and halting rail traffic for hours.

The accident happened east of Pier 90 just after 1 p.m. when a southbound Burlington Northern train crossed West Galer Street.

The truck driver watched a northbound train clear the intersection and pulled onto the tracks without seeing the slow-moving train coming from the opposite direction, authorities said.

More than 10 fire trucks and rescue units responded to the crash, doused the truck's diesel tanks with flame-retardant spray and pulled the 42-year-old driver to safety.

The train hit the truck just behind the driver's seat, sparing the unidentified man serious injury.

He was listed in satisfactory condition yesterday evening in Harborview Medical Center, a nursing supervisor said.

The crash brought rail traffic, much of it related to the busy port, to a standstill. And the wreckage of the truck blocked other freight-hauling rigs loaded and ready on the west side of the dock until late in the afternoon.

The sound of the crash carried into the the basement of a nearby building on Elliott Avenue.

"I heard a screech and a crunch, a crash and a bang, then all the sirens," Arrow Printing owner Steve Agnew said.

Eric Gobat, who manages a warehouse across the street from the crash scene, rushed to call 911 when he heard the ominous sound of metal on metal. Warehouse workers watched as the train pushed the truck a short distance down the rails before toppling a power pole.

"Luckily, it wasn't an Amtrak train. They go at a good clip, and they've got passengers," Gobat said. "It could have been a mess."

P-I reporter Kimberly A.C. Wilson can be reached at 206-615-1246 or kacwilson@seattle-pi.com

Send comments to newmedia@seattle-pi.com ) 1998-2000 Seattle Post-Intelligencer.



-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), April 18, 2000

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