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January 12, 2011

The driver of a tractor-trailer is dead today after driving his rig around the railroad crossing gates and into the path of a passenger train, says an article by Associated Press.

51-year-old Randolph Todd, of Sheppard, TX, disregarded railroad flashing warning lights and drove his tractor-trailer around the closed railroad crossing gates in Dunkirk, NY in Chautauqua County. An Amtrak passenger train carrying 236 passengers and 16 crew struck Todd’s tractor-trailer in the passenger side of the cab as it crossed the tracks. The impact cut the tractor-trailer in half, leaving parts on each side of the tracks.

The coroner pronounced Todd dead on the scene, reports Buffalo News.

Todd was delivering chicken to the Nestle Purina manufacturing facility just yards from the railroad crossing where the accident occurred.

Involved in the crash was Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited en route from Chicago to New York City. The passengers and crew were uninjured. Train passengers remained on the train for five hours during the accident investigation and while waiting for a new engine to replace the damaged one.

Lew Thompson & Son Trucking of Huntsville, Ark owned the tractor-trailer.

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