CUYAHOGA FALLS — A city snowplow driver who was forced to abandon his stuck vehicle on railroad tracks as a speeding train approached Sunday night was back clearing streets Monday afternoon.
Mayor Don Walters said the driver was on his way Sunday evening to one of the city’s two salt barns, located just on the other side of the train tracks at Bailey Road. The truck had two blades: a standard front plow and a side-mounted wing plow. The side-mounted plow got stuck on the rail, stopping the truck on the tracks.
Because a train was approaching the crossing, the driver was told to get out of the truck instead of trying to move it, Walters said. A short time later, the train struck the plow.
The driver wasn’t injured and was back out on the road Monday afternoon, the mayor said.
“He wasn’t injured, wasn’t shaken up," Walters said of the driver, whom he declined to name.
The truck was towed. Walters said he expects the city will purchase a replacement truck because the damage likely won't be repairable.
Walters said he didn't think there was any damage to the railroad tracks.
Walters said he believes the train, which was damaged, was moved early Monday morning. Bearing the Union Pacific logo, one of the train’s two front locomotives was heavily damaged and unable to build up enough pressure to release the brakes, Walters said Sunday night. The road has reopened after being closed Sunday night so authorities could clear the wreckage.
“Nobody was hurt, that’s the most important thing. The truck can be replaced,” Walters said. “We’re still investigating how and why it happened.”
The National Weather Service reported 9 inches of accumulation by Sunday morning from the weekend's winter storm, and Walters said an additional 5 inches fell between Sunday night and Monday. The mayor said the city had 28 plow trucks on the roads Monday afternoon, with drivers focusing on residential streets. A second pass-through of the city is expected to be completed by Tuesday morning, he said.
“As long as it doesn’t snow anymore, we’ll be in pretty good shape," Walters said.
Beacon Journal reporter Emily Mills can be reached at 330-996-3334, firstname.lastname@example.org and @EmilyMills818.