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Truck and train collide, driver injured and oil spilled

A recent accident in Bethlehem Township, Pennsylvania -- to the north of Philadelphia -- has some specialists worrying about the possibility of a nearby trout stream becoming contaminated. The truck accident occurred around 10:15 a.m. on Brodhead Road.

Just after passing Monocacy Creek, the truck passed in front of a Norfolk Southern train that was traveling south. As it crashed into the truck, the train separated the cab and the cargo unit it was pulling. Police said that the cab came to rest on the west side of the train while the trailer ended on the east side of it.

Some at the scene suggested that the accident could have been worse. Another vehicle was traveling east on Brodhead at the time of the wreck and could have become involved if the separated cab had struck it and its driver.

Unfortunately the driver of the truck was injured in the accident. According to reports, he received a potentially serious gash to his head. He was taken to St. Luke's Hospital in Fountain Hill, Pennsylvania.

When the accident occurred, the train struck the area just behind the cab. Due to the collision, at least 200 gallons of diesel fuel spilled out. With Monocacy Creek nearby, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection was called in.

As stated by witnesses, the accident could have been much more serious. Just about anything crossing a train's path has a distinct size disadvantage. But in this case, if the train operator was injured, it appears the truck driver could be held liable unless there was a malfunction of the railroad crossing equipment.

Source: The Express-Times, "Train vs. tractor-trailer accident could have been a lot worse, police say," Zach Lindsey, Jan. 23, 2012

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