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None hurt as train collides with semi in Palmetto

A Louisville man and his passenger were uninjured Aug. 21 in an accident along U.S. Highway 29 in Palmetto when the tractor-trailer he was driving became hung up on the railroad tracks at the Vine Street crossing and was subsequently hit by an oncoming train.

Palmetto Police Sgt. Lee Gragg said the Tuesday morning accident occurred as 53 year-old Eddie Dixon, of Louisville, was attempting to access Hwy. 29 from Vine Street. Though the details were not immediately available, Gragg said the 18-wheeler’s trailer got hung up on the tracks. Dixon and his unidentified passenger saw the train coming and exited the vehicle before the impact, Gragg said, adding that there were no injuries in the accident.

Gragg said the collision with the 3,800-foot train, “blew the truck off the tracks,” throwing the unloaded trailer portion of the vehicle into a wooded area off Pine Street a short distance away.

The rate of speed at which the train was traveling was unknown, Gragg said.

The collision on Palmetto’s west side damaged utility poles, causing a temporary outage of electric, cable and phone service. The collision caused the closure of Hwy. 29 for approximately seven hours, Gragg said. A HazMat team was also called to clean up the diesel fuel spilled from the 18-wheeler.

Dixon was citied with interfering with a railroad crossing, said Gragg.

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