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No injuries as train hits semi in Butler

November 15, 2018

A freight train struck a semi-trailer carrying an oversized load on Butler’s east side Wednesday, causing a seven-hour road closure, state police said.

The westbound semi was approaching the railroad crossing on East Main Street, east of Maple Street near Eastside High School about 8:30 a.m.

The semi was traveling from Ohio to Illinois under escort by Indiana State Police.

Sgt. Ron Galaviz, state police public information officer, said the vehicle and trailer combination, along with its payload, totaled 194 feet in length and weighed 368,000 pounds.

The driver, Daniel P. Fuchs, 41, of Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, began to drive through the crossing, and when the load was about halfway through, the crossing lights came on and the crossing arms began to lower. A northbound train came around a curve and struck the rear of the trailer, Galaviz said.

The back portion of the trailer was pulled away from the remainder of the load and traveled with the lead locomotive down the tracks until the train came to a stop, police said.

The lead locomotive received significant front-end damage but remained operational and was eventually able to proceed to its final destination of Windsor, Ontario, Galaviz said.

Fuchs was not injured, nor was the employee who was on the rear of the trailer steering it. He was able to jump to safety before the collision.

None of the train’s personnel were injured, Galaviz said.

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