Two Dead After Collision With Train

lyc train

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Two men are dead following a train collision with a pickup truck in Lycoming County.

It happened around 12:15 p.m. Friday.

Authorities said the two men were in the pickup truck when it was struck by a train on Brick Church Road in Clinton Township, outside Montgomery.

Griffith Company, a construction company based in California has confirmed that both men who died in the accident were working at the construction site where the new power plant is being built.

Griffith Company says the two men were coming back to work after their lunch break when the truck was hit.

A United Rental pickup truck is dented and upside down, sitting just a few feet from the railroad crossing where it was hit by a train on Brick Church Road in Clinton Township, near Montgomery

Troopers say the truck was headed over the railroad crossing when it collided with a Norfolk Southern train.

The coroner says two men in the truck were killed. He has not yet released their names, but says they are from out of state.

“I feel sorry that somebody lost their life,” said Bill Pewterbaugh.

Pewterbaugh lives by the railroad crossing. He was inside his home when the crash happened.

“Basic train noise and a thud,” he said, describing what he hears.

Officials say the passenger died at the scene.

A medical helicopter was called in. Officials say the driver of the truck was taken to Muncy Hospital and later flown to Geisinger Medical Center near Danville where he died.

Officials with Griffith Company, a construction company from California, were also at the crash scene. They tell Newswatch 16 both victims were working at the nearby construction site where a power plant is being built. The company says the men were coming back from lunch when the crash happened.

Pewterbaugh says the trains passing through there are loud and he is surprised the driver didn’t stop.

“(The trains) lay on their horns a lot and they are extremely loud so you really can’t miss that,” he said. “Unfortunately, it costs some lives.”

48 comments

  • andrea buchholz

    My brother was a good man. Kind hearted and loving father. Was he perfect. .. nope. Did he make mistakes. ..yep. was he irresponsible and reckless absolutely not. He was hard of hearing and was probably telling some wild story to Howard the driver. Please be careful with your posts I am sure someday his son may read these. Be thoughtful that people like me are planning my only siblings funeral and searching for answers to try to make peace with all of this.

    • Carl Caum

      Andrea, I’m truly sorry for your families loss ! I worked with your brother, and enjoyed getting the chance to know him ! Please try to ignore the ignorance of some of these people, and know that some of us do care for your loss…

  • joshua neece

    I worked with these men every day. They both had young kids. Marty was maried and I had just had a discussion with him about going home and being away from your family. They were both good guys and for the most part fun to be around. So to all of you with the ignorant comments. Think what if it was you that your child lost or your wife lost. And all why you were out of town workin to put food on the table and support your family. So yeah think twice before you run your mouth about something you know nothing about. Darren and marty you both will be deeply missed and to your familys I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Fred

    I agree, Do not forget the train crew. A 20 car train going just 20 MPH takes a 1/4 mile to stop. How helpless do you think the crew felt. I understand that 2 people died but would you want to trade places with the people that were looking out the window of that engine ?

    • Shauna Ziemer

      First, none of the comments matters other than condolscences sent by those above. This is a tradegy in so many ways. The coulda, shoulda, woulda and the finger pointing to whose fault it is in the past and cannot be changed, ever; all any of us can do is move forward. Two men are gone with their construction site workers in shock, families planning memorials, the children without fathers.
      Second, I want to thank everyone who help with the horrible incident on Friday, from the state troopers to families who live there and my deepest condolscences to the train crew and construction workers who worked Howard and Darrin.
      My son was there in Pennsylvania for five weeks this summer to see Darrin and returned home three weeks ago. Zac was Darrin’s life., literally and his only child. The hardest now as Zac’s mother is knowing that he no longer has a father, dad. With the Lord’s help, we will help Zac remember his dad.
      God bless

  • A person who cares about safety

    At this particular crossing, there are many obstructions close to the track that obscure the visibility of approaching trains. There’s just a crossbuck sign (indicating level railway crossings and should be treated like a Yield sign according to sources on the internet). No stop sign, flashing lights, crossing arms, gates, or other safety precautions in place to signal that there would be an oncoming train. Train whistles/horns are often not heard in modern, more soundproofed, vehicles.

    RR traffic has increased tremendously with trains travelling over 50 mph at this crossing. Industry (Halliburton, Panda Power, Express, Kidron, etc) recently moved here means many more cars/trucks using this crossing. Another fatality occurred only two crossings before this one.

    PLEASE – it’s time for the appropriate authorities to step up and install modern warning devices ASAP.

    Make saving lives a NUMBER ONE priority!

    My heart goes out to the families who lost their loved ones today. God bless!

  • Baileh

    They were trying to beat the train probably. They should really put gates and lights up. Don’t hate on the driver people. Don’t say they shouldn’t have been looking at their phones because you don’t know what they were looking at. Unless you were there watching them then I suggest keeping your mouth shut. And really the other workers got out early. Like I said KNOW THE FULL STORY BEFORE RUNNING YOUR MOUTH! My dad was one of the workers on the job site. He has to go on that road across the tracks. I’m pretty sure he’ll know if there’s gates and signs. And there are none.

    • K

      The updated article mentioned that these gentlemen were from out of state, hence perhaps then unfamiliar with local roads and RR crossings if they hadn’t been working here very long.

  • sweet1eaf

    Darren & Mart were great leaders they were my bosses, and they were always looking out for my safety. Duty responsibility kindness and patience were major traits of both Men Until we meet again .

  • Steven Sweet

    I knew both men personally they were genuine and very safety conscious, I was a new guy on the site and they took me under there wings Marty was my roomate and Darren my friend and both were my boses . Both were responsible good leaders

  • Jacqui

    I would just like to say that my brother was one of the men who pulled these two men from the truck. I am thoroughly disappointed because not only did the company gather up all men on sight to, essentially, reprimand them for the incident (there were improper fire hydrants on site that were used, far too small for such an incident), but also did NOT have a professional come onto the scene to debrief those who have been directly affected by this tragic incident. The emotional impact that this tragedy has had is a great concern to me and I feel that the company could have handled the situation MUCH more professionally and empathetic. The men were not even allowed to leave the job site early, but instead had them work and allow for them to find out that their work peer, of whom had been close with other workers, had died.

      • Jacqui

        The incident happened at 12:15, and my brother was NOT relieved until shortly after 3:45… Which is unacceptable.
        How about we look further into the situation instead of only what the media tells us! Thanks

    • Carl Caum

      I work for Griffith, and was there when it happened. If your brother worked till 3:45, then he chose to because we all left shortly after finding out what happened !

    • andrea buchholz

      Can you let me know who your brother is. My parents want to thank him for pulling my brother or of the truck before he burned.

  • Roy

    That road isn’t much wider than a deer path , a quarter mile long (if that) and probably sees about 10 cars a day. Would you spend millions to put in gates and lights if it were your railroad? The crossing is posted. Stop, look and listen. We all learn it in driver’s ed. Don’t blame the railroad for driver inattention.

    • K

      Flashing lights and bells at least cost a million dollars? “If this is a private road then it is the companies money that has to install the lights.” Yes it would be worth it so that I knew I made every effort to ensure the safety of the community I do business in IF this crossed my commercial property!

      • Roy

        The crossing is posted and you can’t miss seeing the tracks. There is not a school system, drivers training school, etc, that hasn’t taught that you stop, look and listen at unprotected crossings. There is no excuse.

      • Roy

        Not to mention, there are two other equally direct routes to the job site that are totally protected with gates, lights and bell. There are only three ways to the site. Two protected, one not. They took the latter, and it is probably the longest way to get there.

    • DEADLY CROSSINGS

      With all due respect, it is a public road and the most direct route to/fro Route 405 and Panda, especially if they just went down to the little sub shop for lunch…many people use this road to get to other industries, river lots, homes, church, cemetery, farms, and those people who live on Brick Church Road itself, etc….. Just depends on where you’re going..

      Nevertheless, why are there no signs, gates and flashing lights at this crossing? Why aren’t work crews out there after the accident adding signs and painting crossing marks on the pavement especially with all the obstructions at that particular crossing?

      Nobody who had never been back there before would even know there are RRs with protected/unprotected crossings they have to cross – there are no signs at any of the roads (Route 405, Saegar Station, Brick Church, Riddell, Tebbs) warning of RR protected/unprotected crossing ahead?

      I’ve almost been killed at this crossing 3 x’s due to various obstructions and not hearing the whistle in my car which is apparently soundproofed…also at night the lights on the train were obscured by the many buildings. And yes I always stop – even though I believe a crossbuck sign does not require one to do so in PA – but I have to pull up what seems to be literally within inches of the track to clearly see due to so many obstructions on both sides…this is clearly a hazard. Just imagine if you were in a horse and buggy! I have expressed my concerns to the various parties years ago about this crossing and NOTHING about it has been done to date. Freight trains over a mile long carrying carloads of coal continue to barrel through at over 50mph.

      Anyhow, I’m not going to argue because the point is – this particular crossing, like some other unprotected private/ public crossings in Clinton Township, is UNDENIABLY DANGEROUS. It is statistically very likely that lights and gates could have prevented this accident. Yet two people lost their lives in this tragic and senseless accident.

      I predict “they” might do something now since these tragic fatalities occurred to people working at one of the new industries they brought here, which incidentally also brought in an additional RR track and increased train traffic (what used to be a beautiful bucolic area). I hope to God they don’t continue to blatantly exploit RR employees and other hard-working employees who have to interact with these BIG industries and other businesses as well as the many other people who travel to that area.

      Please make certain that these deaths (two men plus another man who died two crossings before this one, and the horse) are not forgotten – so that others will not die in vain.

  • Fred

    I would never wish this tragedy on anyone. It is very sad, but also that engine is 35 or more ton’s. How could you not hear it coming and the horn is defining. Something went wrong that only the engineer can tell us. I hope the truth comes out.

  • BELINDA EMPSON

    my husband also works on the same job site as these men. god bless to all involved and thoughts and prayers to there families.

    • Carl Caum

      The ignorant comments that some are putting on here (Real Thinking) really annoy me ! I worked with these two men every day, and on a job like this we become a brotherhood. So please “Think” about the families, friends, and children of these men before you show your ignorance for everyone to see ! ! !

  • Ron

    There are no lights or gates at that crossing and now that the corn is up you can’t see if anything is coming. It’s amazing this hasn’t happened more often.Once is bad enough. Maybe they will do something about it now.

    • K

      I don’t get why they can’t at least have flashing lights and warning bells at ALL crossings?! This should’ve not happened!

      • Mike

        They will probably put a STOP sign there now, that way drivers are legally required to stop at the tracks. They have done that a couple miles down the line near Watsontown.

      • Kith

        If this is a private road then it is the companies money that has to install the lights. Railroads if a busy street put up on public roads only.

      • K

        @greg I don’t have an iphone you boob, and I don’t even look at my phone when driving let alone use it when I am driving but I cannot tell you how many people I see using their phone when driving around here! “Grown-ups” too as a matter of fact…pull over for the love of God.

    • Tammy

      My fiancé is working at the power plant where these 2 men worked. Such a tragedy. They have shut down the job for now. I have crossed those tracks several times when taking him to work and wondered why there are no lights or gates. I have always slowed down before crossing but now I will be sure to stop.

    • Lucy Ziemer

      I was interested in your comment about no gate and no lights and tall corn. I surely do hope they do something about it now. One of the men killed was my nephew and we are all in shock.er

      • april

        First I want to say so sorry for your loss! Some of these people are very rude with their comments they wouldn’t say the things they do if it was one of their loved ones! I don’t care how much money it costs it should be mandatory for signs and flashers and rails to come down! Lives are more important than money!

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