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City of Salem Trash Truck Hit by Freight Train

Lilly Lentz5 months ago

On Tuesday, a trash truck headed south in Salem, Virginia, was struck by a train on Tuesday and the truck driver suffers from serious injuries.    

Details of the Salem Train-Truck Collision

According to WDBJ 7, the truck had just left a business near the rail-road crossing and was struck on the passenger side of the truck. The train was a Norfolk Southern freight train and was headed east. At 9:02 a.m. Salem Police, Salem Fire, and Salem EMS Departments responded to the accident, which occurred at the rail-road crossing between Margaret lane and Apperson Drive. 

The truck driver, Curtis Farris, is a City of Salem employee and suffered life-threatening injuries. When the first responders arrived at the scene, Farris was found outside of the overturned truck. After immediately beginning the stabilization process, he was taken to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, according to Sergeant SR Chamberland of the Salem Police Department.

The cause of the crash is not entirely clear, but police are inclined to believe the driver was crossing the tracks in order to pick up trash from a dumpster at a nearby business location.

National Railroad Accident Statistics

The following information was provided by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA):

  • In 2015, 2,059 Highway-Rail incidents were reported at both public and private crossings.
  • In 2015, 244 Highway-Rail incidents resulted in fatalities.
  • In 2015, 967 Highway-Rail incidents resulted in serious injuries.
  • According to the National Highway Safety Administration(NHTSA), three out of four crashes occur within 25 miles of a motorist’s home and 50 percent of all crashes occur within five miles of the home.
  • According to NHTSA, a motorist is almost 20 times more likely to die in a crash involving a train than in a collision involving any other motor vehicle. 


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