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Published: Friday, 8/22/2014

Tractor-trailer bottoms out on railroad crossing, destroyed by train in Ottawa County


MARTIN, Ohio -- A tractor-trailer was destroyed but nobody was hurt when the big rig became stuck on a railroad crossing today and was struck by a train, the Ottawa County Sheriff’‍s Office reported.

The semi, driven by Joel Aldrich, 54, of Gibsonburg, Ohio was northbound on Martin-Williston Road in Allen Township when it hung up on the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks just north of Moline-Martin Road. The driver tried unsuccessfully to get the truck off the tracks until he observed an eastbound train approaching and, when the lights and gates activated, he abandoned his effort.

The train struck the empty flat-bed trailer about 8:48 a.m. Ottawa Sheriff’‍s Deputy Kevin Meek said the impact caused an oil leak from a locomotive that spilled along the tracks east of the crossing, disrupting railroad operations for several hours.

The truck was leased to Helena Chemical Co., 3014 N. Martin-Williston. Deputy Meek said no charges were immediately filed, and Mr. Aldrich told investigators that he had driven across the tracks on Martin-Williston before, but not with this particular trailer.

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