A portion of state Route 171 north of Carrollton may be closed until Saturday after a train and semi-tractor trailer truck collided this week, causing extensive damage to a railroad crossing and the surrounding pavement, the Ohio Department of Transportation and Ohio Highway Patrol said.
The crash occurred around 3 p.m. Monday on a Wheeling & Lake Erie railroad track less than a mile east of state Route 43 on the border of Harrison and Washington townships in Carroll County. The railroad runs along Pipe Run.
The driver of the truck suffered serious injuries, including burns. Darrin Anguish, 54, of Minerva was later found outside the vehicle. It's not clear how, said Ohio Highway Patrol Sgt. Gary Wolfe, nor if he was wearing a seat belt. Fuel from the truck's tanks splattered at the scene and ignited.
Wolfe said that while Anguish was conscious at the scene and speaking with emergency responders as they arrived, his injuries were serious enough to warrant transporting him by helicopter to University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh for treatment.
The engineer and conductor on the train were not injured, Wolfe said.
ODOT District 11 estimated that it will take until Saturday for Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway to complete repairs so the road can be reopened.
The stretch of Route 171 from Route 43 to the west to state Route 9 to the east will be closed to traffic.
Train versus truck
Wolfe said the Wheeling & Lake Erie train was going north from Carrollton to Canton at 10 mph. The train had three engines, which were hauling 24 empty freight cars. He said the engineer later told him that he sounded the horn as the train approached the crossing at Route 171.
At about that moment, Anguish was driving his Stallion Trucking semi west on Route 171. The truck was hauling water used in fracking, said Wolfe.
For some reason, Anguish, who had no passengers, did not see the train or hear the horn.
The crossing has yellow railroad crossing signs instructing motorists to yield to trains. But it has no crossing gates or flashing lights.
The left front of the truck collided with the right front of the train.
The collision knocked the first engine off the track, causing it to derail left of the tracks. It then went down the embankment. The tracks were severely damaged.
The impact punctured the fuel tank on the left side of the truck and it splattered, ignited and resulted in a fire.
Firefighters from the Carrollton Fire Department and other departments responded to quickly put out the fire, said Wolfe.
ODOT District 11 spokeswoman Lauren Borell said that all of the damage to the road was in the railroad's right of way and not in the section maintained by ODOT.
A message seeking comment was left on the voicemail of an executive for Wheeling & Lake Erie.
Route 171 in that area connects Waynesburg and Mechanicstown.
The detour involves Route 43, state Route 39 and Route 9.
Reach Robert at email@example.com. Twitter: @rwangREP
Correction: The collision between a train and a truck took place Monday less than a mile east of State Route 43 on State Route 171 in Carroll County. A prior version of this article gave the incorrect location.
This article originally appeared on The Repository: Route 171 to be closed in Carroll County for days following crash