Train Hits 18-Wheeler, Derails near Apison Pike, Two Injured in Collegedale, TN
UPDATE (January 13, 2023): Recent reports say the truck driver involved in this derailment accident was arrested and charged with failure to yield and felony reckless endangerment.
Collegedale, TN — December 20, 2022, two people were hospitalized after a train hit a semi-truck and derailed in Collegedale, a suburb of Chattanooga.
Authorities say the incident happened around 12:30 p.m. near the intersection of Apison Pike and University Drive. Investigators released few specifics about the cause and circumstances of the collision, but preliminary reports say a cargo train crashed into a semi-truck that was hauling a 134-foot concrete bridge beam. After the impact the train derailed and several of its cars overturned.
The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Collegedale Truck/Train Accident
UPDATE (December 27, 2022): Later reports about this incident say the oversized concrete-hauling truck got stuck at a red light with its trailer and the bridge beam across the train tracks. Investigators say the truck had two escort pilot vehicles with it but they may not have fulfilled their duty to protect the truck driver and warn him of dangers ahead. That failure to act upon their duties is likely another area that needs careful investigation.
ORIGINAL: Clearly there are still a lot of answers to find here: Exactly how and why the did the train and the truck collide? Was the truck stopped on the tracks or just passing through at a bad moment? Could the train have slowed or stopped? Does that crossing have traffic control arms, lights, and/or signage? Was the truck driver awake, alert, and paying attention to their surroundings? Did something happen to the truck that forced it to stop? Was the route researched and planned appropriately? Did the truck have escort vehicles for its oversized load?
The point of a full investigation isn't to complicate things or get lost in the small details. It's about making sure all the relevant information is available and backed up by clear evidence. People injured in commercial vehicle crashes tend to need all that evidence to hold someone accountable for hurting them, and I see no particular reason why this crash would be an exception.