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Police: Train Crashes into Tractor Trailer at Gainesville Railroad Crossing

This is the second time in two months a train has crashed into a vehicle in this area.

Traffic at a busy intersection in Gainesville was brought to halt at the height of rush hour on Wednesday after police said a train struck a tractor-trailer stopped on the tracks.

It happened just after 5 p.m. at a railroad crossing on Lee Highway (Route 29) near Interstate 66 and Route 55.

The crash caused traffic delays for about two hours until the scene was cleared, according to a Facebook post by Prince William County Police.

No injuries were reported.

This is the second time in two months that a train has crashed into a vehicle stopped on the tracks in this area.

On Dec. 19, a driver disregarded the signs and roadway markings and stopped on the tracks, Prince William Police Officer Dennis Jensen said in an earlier report. 

The train was unable to stop and struck the rear of the car, according to police reports.

The driver involved in the crash was charged with the incident while two other motorists stopped in the no-stopping zone around the tracks were ticketed, police said.

Is this Gainesville railroad crossing especially dangerous? Tell us in the comments now.

DH February 21, 2013 at 04:46 PM
I completely agree Amy! Again, all comes back to common sense which is, sadly, lacking in SO many...
streufjm February 21, 2013 at 05:50 PM
What's the difference between blocking the box at a stop light and blocking the box at a railroad crossing? The railroad crossing delivers its own traffic ticket at times - directly into some part of your car!! Darwinism in action.
streufjm February 21, 2013 at 05:56 PM
How can it NOT BE primarily the driver's fault when, as you point out, you should NEVER SIT ON RAILROAD TRACKS? It doesn't matter if the gates/lights/whistles, etc do work or do not work. Blaming the mechanical safety devices is just current American entitlement thinking. Taking responsibility for your own safety is, unfortunately, old fashioned personal responsibility. But I guess I am just a dinosaur for thinking like that! Actually, I am not, I just believe Charles Darwin has something to contribute to the conversation, in case anyone is listening.
BP February 21, 2013 at 08:08 PM
Ms. Mederos the Federal Railroad-bought Association web reports the railroads summit will be on-line March 1 for Dec. so-called accidents.. The railroads train the clueless cops in these phonied up investigations which would be illegal if the railroads didn't bribe a.k.a. political contributions every politician in the country win or lose. The railroads pointed the cops to the cross-buck signs on the gates (yield) and you were a evil doer because you didn't know the junk signals fail. http://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0001 File a alleged violation.
BP February 21, 2013 at 08:11 PM
OLI is a major scam started by the RAILROADS decades ago. Duh --A real OLI would have been screaming about train speeds, lack of look outs ---junk signals the railroads have robbed us millions on ---etc...wouldn't ya think?
BP February 21, 2013 at 08:25 PM
http://www.vdot.virginia.gov/business/resources/const/DRAFT_Rte66_Gainesville_Interchange.pdf The overpass was ordered two years ago. Find out how much we pump to the railroads besides OUR signals they steal when complete.
concerned February 22, 2013 at 02:23 PM
Where and how can we read the train accident reports to see the speed of the train and if the gates were working? The numbers above I can not understand.
BP February 22, 2013 at 03:25 PM
Third most dangerous crossing in the state 0.133811 --One accident predicted every 7.47 years. 714363S --USDOT assigned crossing number NS-Norfolk Southern VA PRINCE WILL GAINESVILLE LEE HWY --Location 1 0 0 0 1 --Two collisions last 5 years. (2007-2011) FQ-Four quad gates 18-Trains a day 1-track 45-mph train speed YES - Road paved 4-traffic lanes 40,875 --Vehicles a day
BP February 22, 2013 at 03:33 PM
You will never see the real reports since the railroads spoon feed the cops what they want them to hear and press to print. All the video ---train black box--signal black box--the railroads get away with and the real witnesses are lost. The railroads train our cops for these collisions which should be a naughty-naughty shame-shame no-no. (BIG BUCKS IN HIGH PLACES). The Federal Railroad-bought Association has the railroad submitted reports on the first day of the month --two months after. December collisions come out March 1. http://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0001 Click railroad safety Click safety data Run query ---5.09 Hwy/Rail Detail Report
Amy W. February 22, 2013 at 05:51 PM
Totally agree DH! I think the county should ticket these people that are getting into accidents with the train. I have been at that train crossing on both 29 and John Marshall and the lights always work, I also live right behind the tracks and I hear the horns blowing over and over again as they start approaching the intersection where there are crossings. I have seen many people (cars, trucks and tractor trailers) sitting on the tracks during a red-light, then everyone that get's hit by the train wants to blame the lights, etc. I find it hard to believe, again common sense people.
Amy W. February 22, 2013 at 05:54 PM
One more thought, how about the Prince William County Po-Po sit down by the tracks, instead of at the light after Linton-Hall (they are always there) trying to ticket people. They could hit their quota by writing out tickets for every d.a. that sits on the tracks.
Amy W. February 22, 2013 at 06:05 PM
Just saying, this was the report, "On Dec. 19, a driver disregarded the signs and roadway markings and stopped on the tracks, Prince William Police Officer Dennis Jensen said in an earlier report. The train was unable to stop and struck the rear of the car, according to police reports. The driver involved in the crash was charged with the incident while two other motorists stopped in the no-stopping zone around the tracks were ticketed, police said."
Craig Shier February 22, 2013 at 09:17 PM
For al those who think road/rail crossings are unsafe, you are absolutely right. A car is no match for a train. Trains can take up to a mile to stop, even in emergency. A locomotive alone can weight 400,000 lbs. Also if you've even seen photos of a derailment, you will avoid being anywhere near a rail crossing. 80 ton cars fly everywhere. I never cross a track unless there are 3 or 4 car lengths free on the other side. I never stop closer than that to a rail crossing. Drivers need to be exceedingly careful and vigilant. BTW, almost all locomotives have cameras mounted that record crossings and it is very rare that the RRs are found to be at fault... just saying.
ShSb February 22, 2013 at 09:58 PM
Well said, DH, streufjm and Amy. Even emergency vehicles have to take note of RR crossings and they have to be in much more of a rush than most other drivers. School buses stop, the drivers are trained to do so...does every driver need to be trained on RR crossing safety?
BP February 22, 2013 at 10:55 PM
Traffic Light Interconnection/Preemption: Simultaneous Preemption What this means is that the traffic light turns green B-4 the railroad signals start so vehicles don't get trapped on the crossing. Hmmm ---so sitting vehicles means the junk signals failed or vehicle problems. What drivers ed should teach is don't drive a train too fast with sucky brakes and no steering. Whoops ---they do in the sight stop distance part.
concerned February 23, 2013 at 02:50 PM
The accident in December, 2012 the train sideswiped the front left end of the vehicle, not the rear. The driver involved had been driving that route for over ten years and is very familiar with that intersection crossing it twice daily.
Amy W. February 23, 2013 at 03:47 PM
As Craig Shier mentioned, all locomotives have cameras on them which will show whether the bells, whistles, and arms came down in time or not, however it still goes back to why people are so worried about someone cutting in front of them that they are sitting "inside the box" at the train tracks. There is no way you would be hit by the train unless you were inside that boxed area!
concerned February 23, 2013 at 04:44 PM
Will the railroad share those films in court, doubtful. How can they be requested from the railway? They should provide them, if they have nothing to hide.
BP February 23, 2013 at 09:50 PM
http://www.insiderexclusive.com/show-content/305-death-on-the-tracks-bnsf-railroads-24-million-dollar-cover-up-part-i.html OUR cops let the railroad get off with the evidence to be dubbed or lost if need be.
BP February 23, 2013 at 10:00 PM
Google map Gainesville Va. (year old) and set the little yellow google guy down in the road here and somebody has stolen like $300,000 in the second part of the quad gates WE paid for. Were they put here purposely to waste funds and now the railroad shines them up and we buy them back elsewhere for $300,000? We even paid the RR to steal them. Major construction zone going on and the railroad doesn't put in a slow order. How greedy they are. It's really confusing. So bad the little Google guy was scratching his head ---A $10 easily hid don't stop on tracks sign like a 1/4 mile back---Then right at the gate a stop here when flashing sign---and the gate straight up saying go driver go. Or is there a train slow order here the railroads ignore? If not the state and FEDS need FIRED.
BP March 01, 2013 at 06:44 AM
===== Crossing ID 714363S ===== On Dec 19, 2012 a FREIGHT TRAIN operated by Norfolk Southern Corp. [NS ] hit a CAR at approximately 6:46PM in Virginia in PRINCE WILLIAM county on RTE 29 LEE HWY road. The incident was not in a city or town. The rail equipment was reported to have been traveling at 037 Mph with 3 locomotive(s) and 44 cars(s). The CAR had been traveling in a southernly direction at ? Mph.The railroad was operating on main line track over a public road crossing. It was clear, at dusk and the temperature was 45. There were no reported deaths or injuries. The 62 year old female driver was blocked by gates on the crossing and was reported to have stopped on crossing. There were 0 occupant(s) in the vehicle. The view of the track was not obstructed. Hazardous material was not being transported by rail or highway vehicle. The crossing was protected by: Gates, Cantilever flashing lights, Standard flashing lights, Bells (audible) Crossbucks DRIVER OF JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE STOPPED ON TRACKS AND BECAME TRAPPED BETWEEN GATES. TRAIN 214PB18 APPROACHING EASTBOUND STRUCK VEHICLE ON DRIVERS SIDE NO INJURIES REPORTED BY DRIVER OR NS CREW.
Witness March 01, 2013 at 01:15 PM
Amazing the driver has aged 12 years since that accident. I think not. Another witness was told by a police officer, that the train was SPEEDING at the time of the accident. "The rail equipment was reported to have been traveling at 037 Mph with 3 locomotive(s) and 44 cars(s)." How FAST was it going? The Jeep driver was stopped at zero speed waiting to cross safely over the tracks. The information above has errors. She was not blocked by gates. She followed traffic through and then cars stopped and she was blocked in with cars behind her waiting to cross over the tracks. She was in the car. She heard and saw no gates, lights or bells before being struck.
Amy W. March 01, 2013 at 05:30 PM
First of all you can't be hit by a train unless you are ON THE TRACKS NOT safely OFF the tracks! So many people think they can sit within that boxed area and not be hit by a train, amazing how she managed to get out of her car safely, even though "there were no lights, horns, gates, etc" working. Good for her!
BP March 01, 2013 at 06:38 PM
Google map (april 2012) shows no gates to be trapped behind ---the crossing is in the city limits. The train black box is removed by the railroad so no real train speed will ever be known. Railroads usually report to the FEDs who never check a couple miles under the track speed limit since the black box has a 3% error spec. I have found 1000s of reports where the speed given is far beyond what the FEDs have on record which should have set off all kinds of flags in the Federal Railroad-bought Association.
BP March 01, 2013 at 06:43 PM
http://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0001 There is a alleged violation form you can send in a complaint. These FRA clowns (have me blocked) will find nothing wrong but they will know you know and the complaint can be used when the railroad mows down a bus load of kids.
BP March 01, 2013 at 09:31 PM
These tracks are all caddy whompus so how do you know where they are with all the stripes painted on the street like a maze? The gates up say go traffic go ---the sign says do not stop here on red --- but yet a driver is supposed to be physic to know where their vehicle will be stopped in a stream of moving traffic. Where do the railroads find you Stockholm syndrome clueless people at anyhow??
streufjm March 11, 2013 at 12:01 AM
BP - in regard to both accidents referred to, in BOTH cases the dipshot drivers failed to wait OFF the tracks until several car lengths of open road were available in their lane BEFORE MOVING ONTO THE TRACK. How is this the train's fault. Just another dummess American thinking they can do whatever and it will be someone else's fault. Darwin had it right. The train was NOT at fault for someone else's stupid mistake!
Amy W. March 21, 2013 at 08:34 PM
Today I had a conversation with a local businessman and yesterday (3/20/13) he was traveling on 29N towards 66 when he noticed a school bus loaded with children on the train tracks, a train was coming and the driver barely got out of the way, the arms of the railroad track had actually come down and hit the roof of the rear of the bus. I was appalled to hear this and wish someone had called the school bus farm and county to make them aware of this. Again, people have to start leaving space between them and the cars in front because of the red light. This could have been a catastrophic event and it certainly worries me that children who are depending on a safe driver could lose their lives over someone's stupidity! I would suggest if anyone sees something like this happen to call the authorities, get the bus number, or license plate and make the call.
BP March 21, 2013 at 11:29 PM
Why not call the railroad bought Feds and report the crossing signal failure on the caddy whompus crossing? Whoops --make that 911 because the Feds would lose the complaint.
Diane Mederos April 18, 2013 at 12:50 PM
The judge dismissed all charges against the driver of the Jeep on 12/19/12, because no laws were broken.

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