No one injured when train, 18-wheeler collide at LaFarge cement plant

Published 11:04 am Thursday, September 17, 2009

No serious injuries were reported following an early morning collision between an 18-wheeler and a train near the Lafarge cement plant west of Calera.

The collision happened at about 2 a.m. Thursday when a train engine switching tracks near the plant backed into a tanker truck carrying thousands of pounds of pebble lime.

The truck was traveling out of the plant’s front entrance and onto Highway 25 when the train struck it.

“The train was just switching tracks like they do all the time, so it wasn’t going very fast,” explained Robby Wade, an employee with Southern Lime working to clean the accident scene Thursday morning.

“I think one guy on the train may have jumped off, and he was complaining of shoulder pain,” Wade added. “The truck driver’s wife drove him to the hospital just to get him checked out, but nobody was hurt seriously or anything.”

The train may have been operating without rear lights when it struck the Evergreen Transport truck near the back of the 18-wheeler’s cab, said Lafarge employee Tony Hale.

“There weren’t any lights on the back of the train, so he may not have seen the train coming,” Hale said. “I know a guy in the train and a guy in the truck went to the hospital, but it wasn’t anything bad.”

After the wreck, the truck spilled a “relatively small amount” of pebble lime, Wade said. A stop sign and guard rail near the crossing also were crushed by the truck.

“It was just lime, so it wasn’t anything hazardous or anything,” Wade said. “We cleaned up the spill and then sucked everything out of the truck so they could tow it out of here.”