Commuters traveling along the NJ Transit Port Jervis line experienced delays on Tuesday evening, January 21, 2020, due to a major accident that occurred along the tracks in Rockland County. A tractor trailer was stuck on train tracks along Route 17 at Washington Avenue in Sloatsburg, N.Y. when the trailer was destroyed by an oncoming train. Luckily, there were no recorded injuries, according to Ramapo police.
A video tweeted by reporter Anjali Hemphill (@AnjaliHemphill) depicts the moment of impact where the train plows through the trailer filled with hundreds of printer ink cartridges. A later video shows trains slowly passing through the scene where the wreckage remained hours after the accident.
The driver of the tractor trailer was miraculously unharmed. Chris Schuct, a driver who witnessed the event on his commute home, told NBC New York about his experience attempting to help the driver: “There was another gentleman down there trying to get the guy out of the truck and he wouldn’t come out. By the time I got over there the gate came down and that was it. It was pretty scary to see.”
The tractor trailer was supposedly trying to complete a tight right turn when it got stuck on the tracks; residents in the area shared that this was not an uncommon occurrence. Neighbor Kevin Cleary told reporters, “[Trucks] come through here and they can’t go right or left with this wall in front. Trucks get stuck all the time, but this guy wasn’t lucky enough to get out of the way.”
Train passengers were unloaded and taken by bus to a nearby station. It is incredibly lucky that there were no reported injuries after this shocking accident.
Train collisions are incredibly dangerous. Although traveling by train is generally safe, it is important to recognize that the power and speed of an oncoming train can have disastrous results if not handled carefully. In this case, it appears that the city design needs to be changed to allow trucks to safely travel through this train crossing.
The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy have a proven track record in a variety of personal injury cases. Our firm is dedicated to finding justice for victims of catastrophic accidents. In a notable case, our attorneys assisted a client who attempted to help the driver of a tractor trailer that was stuck on train tracks in Queens when the crossing gates activated. While our client attempted to free the truck’s landing gear from the tracks, a LIRR train struck the truck, severely injuring our client. Our attorneys were able to obtain a $3,925,000 settlement for our client’s damages.
In another case, our firm was able to reach a $1,500,000 settlement for a commuter that was riding in the first car of a train when it crashed into a train terminal.
If you or someone you know has been severely injured in an accident, please contact the attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy for a free, no-obligation legal consultation by calling 212-736-5300 or filling out our online contact form.