2015-07-15 / Front Page

Neighbors Fume Over Tractor-Train Crash

By Liz Goff
A tractor-trailer driver suffered minor injuries on July 8, after his truck burst into flames when it collided with a freight train at a railroad crossing in Maspeth, fire officials said.

The accident occurred at about 12:45 a.m. on July 8, when a New York and Atlantic Freight Rails train, traveling eastbound at approximately 10 mph near Maspeth Avenue and Rust Street, slammed into the 53-foot truck as the driver attempted to cross the railroad tracks, police said.

Police at the NYPD Highway Unit’s Collision Investigation Squad (HCIS) said the train pushed the truck approximately 200-feet along the tracks before it came to a stop.

The 62-year-old truck driver suffered minor injuries and was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where he was listed in stable condition, authorities said.

The train engineer and conductor were not injured and refused medical attention, police said.

No charges were field in the crash, pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation, police said.

A fire spokesperson said firefighters arrived at the scene within minutes of the first 911 call and had the blaze under control by 1 a.m.

Local activists and neighbors blasted city, state and federal agencies for allowing trains hauling trash to travel through the mixed residential neighborhood.

Neighbors said they have been complaining for years about the trains that spew “revolting fumes, dust and other particles” into the air near their homes as they speed along the train tracks.

“It’s not bad enough that these garbage trains spill dirt and dust, and who knows shat, into our environment,” a nearby resident fumed. “What would happen if one of these things really exploded and shot flames and toxic material into our neighborhood and our homes?” the man said.

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