***UPDATED at 6:31 P.M. on Thursday, May 14th***
We have learned more information concerning a crash that happened in Johnston, South Carolina Thursday morning involving a train crashing into an 18-wheeler.
Edgefield Emergency Management Agency (EMA) director Suzy Spurgeon tells us, there was a clay substance that leaked from one of the train’s cars, but it is not hazardous. Fuel was leaking from a generator that the tractor-trailer was carrying. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is waiting to get that moved to get everything cleaned up. The train was a Norfolk Southern train. Also, the intersection of Highway 23/121 and Railroad Avenue in Johnston will be closed for 3 to 4 days so the railroad crossing can be repaired.
We have also received a statement from Norfolk Southern on the crash. Read the text of the statement below:
A Norfolk Southern train struck a tractor trailer that had become stuck on the railroad tracks at a highway/rail grade crossing in Johnston, S.C. The incident occurred at 9:45 a.m. today. The driver of the truck was calling Norfolk Southern’s Police Communications Center to alert the railroad that his truck was stuck at the same time that a southbound train was approaching the crossing. The train, with two locomotives and 59 cars, was unable to stop before striking the truck. (Track speed at this location is 55 mph. It can take a train traveling at 50 mph more than a mile and a half to stop). There were no injuries to the train crew or driver of the truck. The incident derailed one locomotive and one empty rail car. We are in the process of re-railing the equipment.
Important Information from Operation Lifesaver, www.oli.org, the national rail safety organization: “If your vehicle ever stalls on a track with a train coming, get out immediately and move quickly away from the tracks in the direction from which the train is coming. If you run in the same direction the train is traveling, when the train hits your car you could be injured by flying debris. Call your local law enforcement agency for assistance.”
The phone number to report a problem at a railroad crossing is posted at each railroad crossing.
We will continue to follow this story and provide the latest information as it becomes available.
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***UPDATED at 4:36 P.M. on Thursday, May 14th***
We have now acquired a copy of raw video from the crash taken by an eyewitness, Curtis Harrison.
***UPDATED at 12:03 P.M. on Thursday, May 14th***
An eyewitness has given us a first-hand account of the crash.
Jacoria Plair, tells us when the train crashed into the tractor-trailer, it dragged it down the tracks and took out several nearby cars which hit the town library. And as bad as it was, she says it could have been worse. “The man just happened to be out of his truck to see why he was stuck on the tracks when the train arm came down and warning lights started flashing and he knew…There was a fuel truck about to go around him in the road and if the fuel truck wouldn’t have backed up in time, he would have also been hit but he backed up and I’m glad,” she told us.
It was a close call for the driver of the 18 wheeler…and the driver of that fuel tanker! Imagine if it had been dragged down the tracks.
We will continue to follow this story and provide updates as they become available.
***UPDATED at 11:01 A.M. on Thursday, May 14th***
An eyewitness tells us, a truck was hit by the train and the truck then crashed into several vehicles in a library parking lot nearby.
Our Margaret-Ann Carter is on the scene and she will provide more details here as they become available.
***POSTED at 10:32 A.M. on Thursday, May 14th***
WJBF News Channel 6 has learned there has been a train accident in the town of Johnston, South Carolina.
Johnston is in Edgefield County.
We have learned the accident happened at the intersection of Lee Street and Calhoun Street.
There are not many details, at this time.
We have a crew on the way to the scene.
We will provide more information as it becomes available.