GLADES COUNTY – A tractor trailer hit a train on U.S. 27 Monday morning (Oct. 30), derailing eight cars and blocking the highway.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol Report, a tractor trailer was traveling south on US-27, negotiating a right curve, as it approached a railroad crossing located to the north of Boar Hammock Ranch Road.
A train pulling 19 total train cars was traveling northwest on the train tracks. The railroad crossing signals were activated, the crossing gate was lowered, and the conductor completed a series of whistle blows to alert traffic of its approach, the FHP report states. The semi failed to stop for the railroad crossing.
The semi driver, a 43-year-old Vero Beach man, abruptly applied brakes, evasively steered right and collided with the guardrail, the report continues. The front of the semi then collided with the right side of the #2 train car. The #2 through #10 train cars dislodged from the tracks, causing them to derail.
The semi driver sustained minor injuries and was transported to an area hospital. No other injuries were involved, the report continues. As if this report (issued 8:47 a.m. on Oct. 31) the cleanup process remains ongoing which continues to temporarily close the travel lanes of US 27 at the railroad crossing location.
The South Central Florida Express train was driven by 39-year-old Clewiston man.
On Tuesday morning, Florida Department of Transportation posted the following notice: Road closure due to train derailment: Crews will be on site for possibly the next 3 days to clean and repair the area. US 27 from SR 78 to SR 29 will be closed in both directions, tentatively, for the next 3 days. Traffic will be detoured through SR 29 and SR 78 Ortona to avoid the site. Motorists should expect increased traffic and delays.
According to the Glades County Sheriff’s Office, the train tankers were hauling molasses.