Train, Rig Collide At Luzerne County Crossing

PITTSTON TOWNSHIP —  A train and tractor-trailer collided Monday afternoon in Luzerne County.

It happened after 1 p.m. at a railroad crossing on Oak Street in Pittston Township, near Pittston.

Police say the truck got stuck in the railroad crossing. Emergency crews were called to try to move the stuck rig.

The Pittston Township police chief tried to flag down the train as it approached the crossing.

The truck driver was able to get out before the train hit.

“No sooner did I hang up with comm center, the bells started ringing, the arms started to come down. We told the driver to get off the truck. I ran up to try to flag the train down but it was coming around the corner already. There was no way to stop. I just turned around and watched it hit,” said Pittston Township Police Chief Robert Avvisato.

The train was travelling about 25 mph but it was fast enough to push the truck down the tracks.

Investigators said the drver of the tractor trailer was following a navigational system to find his way and stalled on the hill near the tracks.

Police said Oak Street is restricted to tractor trailers like that.

The driver may be cited.

“The 53-foot trailers can’t travel this road,” said Chief Avvisato.

The chief said he has worked in law enforcement for decades and has never seen a crash like this before.

“Every body got out of the way on time so, all we got was a little property damage here and thank God, nobody was injured. “

26 comments

  • Don

    I drove tractot / trailers starting in 1962 with no GPS, power steering, or automatic transmissions. Try an old B-Model Mack with a duplex trans..Two sticks on the floor.. The problem is today there are no longer any truck drivers.. Only “Computer Controled Steering Technicians”..

  • JimNEPA

    I drove a .46′ over those same tracks in trucking school. One of the other sites covering this story — Citizen’s Voice — said they only allow up to 28′ now. That’s strange, considering there’s a trucking company and Coca-Cola right there.

    • Jerrold Boundy

      The restriction start just past coke’s driveway and end just over the hill past the S curve

  • Bob Coe

    When I retired 9 years ago after 52 years on trucks and buses many drivers used a computer software specifically for trucks, and that was not guaranteed to be flawless. Needless to say GPS is the same. With all the new rules and regulations most of the pros have left the craft with mostly rookies taking over. You rookies must remember….. do not let your dispatcher drive your truck. You are in control. Take it slow and do not hesitate to call your destination for directions. It is not a sure cure, but common sense helps a great deal.

  • Anthony

    If the truck was broken down, BEFORE he got to the tracks… Why in the hell did the dumb a$$ try to coast, when there was a RR crossing?!?!?

    Should’ve put out his triangles, put his 4 ways on, and waited on a tow truck or a service truck.

    There would have been no accident. It’s called a brain. TRY USING IT.

  • Ted

    I had to laugh at this.
    How could the driver be such a lunkhead?
    They also get stuck under the RR bridge in Taylor all the time.
    And up on Suscon Rd when they miss the turn into
    Grimes Instrl Park in Dupont.
    These guys must be green or somethin.

  • Willy from NW OH

    Also one of the last remaining Delaware and Hudson blue/grey locomotives.

    Hope it isn’t hurt!

    Truck looks kinda bad, though. So glad no people were hurt!

  • Willy from NW OH

    I wonder if GPS warns of 53′ trailers prohibited?

    He/she sure missed the sign with the orange flag…

  • shawn stewart

    first off he was broke down on the hill and coasted down as far as he got there had nothing to do with driver at all the railroad ppl should have been contacted along time ago

  • mike durdan

    He stalled out long before the train got there. No one ever notified the railroad that the truck was there…this should have been FIRST priority as side from getting out of the truck and getting safe.

    • mike durdan

      Good for him! And the lights went out after the train stopped. The lights and bells activated when the train was near as well as the horn and bell on the locomotive. He is lucky the driver stopped as soon as he did or his precious rig would be a pile of scrap.

  • Unknown

    how does this happen? either he shifted on the tracks, which is not allowed or he wasnt watching for the train

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