A driver of a tractor-trailer truck attempted to cross the railroad tracks in downtown Buford at the intersection of West Main Street and Little Mill Road on Thursday afternoon. The truck became stuck and was struck by a Norfolk Southern train.
The driver of the truck immediately called 9-1-1 after becoming stuck on the railroad tracks at 2:07 p.m. Officers with the Gwinnett County Police Department were the first on the scene and attempted to contact Norfolk Southern. A train was approaching from the North and there was not enough time to make contact with the train according to Captain Brian Gaeth, Gwinnett County Fire Public Information Officer.
The Gwinnett County Fire Department arrived at the accident site at 2:10 p.m. and immediately jumped into action.
The truck was hit by the train slicing it into two pieces. The trailer and its load of Milwaulkee tools were scattered on the Main Street side of the train while the cab of the truck was on the Little Mill Road side of the tracks. The driver was unharmed as he was able to escape the truck before impact.
“The truck is not supposed to be crossing on that crossing grade,” said Dan Branch, public safety director for the city of Buford. “We have signs posted because the grade cannot take that style of truck and thank God nobody was hurt.”
The train is a standard cargo train of Norfolk Southern and it remains blocking much of the railroad crossings in downtown Buford starting with Little Mill Road, Silas King, Shadburn Ferry Road and East Main Street. There is no estimated time that the roadway will reopen but Branch said it would be hours before it is likely to open. Drivers are being asked to avoid this area altogether.
Buford City Schools is aware of the situation and buses will be rerouted to the available crossings to get their students safely home.
Responding to the scene was one engine, one truck, one squad, one medic unit, one battalion chief and one PIO.
Photos from the scene of a train collision with a tractor-trailer truck that became stuck at a railroad crossing in downtown Buford on Thursday afternoon. Drone photos by Jamie Payne. Ground photos by Alicia Payne.