A semitruck was whipped into a ditch Nov. 26 after a Canadian National Railway train struck it at Utica Road near Groesbeck Highway.

A semitruck was whipped into a ditch Nov. 26 after a Canadian National Railway train struck it at Utica Road near Groesbeck Highway.

Photo provided by the Fraser Department of Public Safety


Possible infractions for truck driver after collision with train in Fraser

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published December 3, 2018

 The driver of the semi thought he had enough space to clear the railroad tracks.

The driver of the semi thought he had enough space to clear the railroad tracks.

Photo provided by the Fraser Department of Public Safety

FRASER — The Fraser Department of Public Safety is exploring “civil-type infractions” against a semitruck driver whose actions resulted in physical damage.

Interim Fraser DPS Director Mike Pettyes said the incident occurred at about 5:20 p.m. Nov. 26 on Utica Road near Groesbeck Highway, on the railroad tracks.

“Traffic is always heavy there, but there was an accident just north of the tracks,” Pettyes said. “So, southbound traffic, which is the direction the semi was going, was backed.”

A 54-year-old Roseville truck driver reportedly stopped his truck with the trailer over the railroad tracks. A Canadian National Railway train heading south through the intersection struck the trailer.

Pettyes said the driver later claimed he “was unable to move forward,” and he told police he thought his trailer was off the tracks.

Once the train hit the trailer, it whipped the semi off the roadway into a telephone pole, knocking down power lines. The impact of the train hitting the trailer and about 53 cargo boxes caused the pole to snap in half.

Flying debris damaged three vehicles in the vicinity. No injuries were reported.

Pettyes said that just the truck’s trailer was thrown into a nearby ditch. Afterward the truck driver claimed that the railroad’s warning lights and crossing gates failed to deploy — which Pettyes said contradicted statements made from all witnesses at the scene.

“The only person that says that is (the driver),” Pettyes said. “Every other witness says the gauge came down, lights came on and everything worked as they normally do.”

The train never derailed, but it did sustain some damage. Cleanup took “numerous hours,” with officers and utility personnel on the scene until about 10 p.m. Power lines were fixed that night.

On Nov. 29, Pettyes confirmed that his department was looking into driving-related charges against the truck driver, although no charges were filed at press time.