ADAMS CENTER A CSX train smashed into a dump truck at a crossing on a private road Monday morning, injuring the truck driver and sparking a small fire as the truck was pushed 500 yards along the tracks.
Andrew J. Beeman, 42, Lacona, was attempting to cross the tracks about 9 a.m. on the Kings Quarry driveway in the vicinity of Kellogg Road when the crash occurred, according to the Jefferson County Sheriffs Department. He was taken to Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, where a nurse supervisor said he was in fair condition. A family member said Mr. Beeman suffered rib injuries and a cut on his nose but that he was able to come home from the hospital. He reportedly was able to walk away from the crash.
The train was traveling from Syracuse to Massena with five locomotives and 41 cars of mixed freight, CSX spokeswoman Melanie D. Cost said. Neither the operator, Marc H. Fradette, Central Square, nor the two other crew members aboard were injured, she said. No cargo was spilled, and rail operations resumed Monday afternoon.
Neither the railroad nor the authorities could say how fast the train was going. Monday was the first day that CSX trains operated with a higher speed limit of 40 miles per hour, up from 25 mph.
Adams Center Fire Chief Mark C. Thomas said it appeared the truck driver was at fault. I wouldnt blame the train for this, he said.
The crossing on the private road does not have a barrier or signal. It was unclear whether a train whistle blew.
Mr. Thomas said the trains crew quickly put out the fire. The impact caused the truck, which was heavily damaged, to leak diesel fuel on the tracks. A team from the state Department of Environmental Conservation responded to clean it up.
Brandy J. Banri, a manager at Kings Quarry, said Mr. Beeman has worked as a driver for the company for about a year. She did not have any information about the extent of his injuries. Ms. Banri said the company had never had one of its vehicles hit by a train before.
Mr. Thomas said the only other crash in the area involving a train and a vehicle that he could remember occurred in the 1970s.
Once we got to see the dump truck up against the side of the train, its like, Oh, boy, Mr. Thomas said.
Volunteer firefighters from Adams and Adams Center responded to the crash, along with Jefferson County sheriffs deputies and state police.