Highway Accident Report

Accident No.: HWY-98-SH-010
Accident Type: Highway-rail grade crossing collision
Location: Grantsville, Utah
Date and Time: December 3, 1997; 5:30 p.m.
Vehicle 1 (V1): 1996 Kenworth tractor with a double semitrailer hauling potash
Vehicle 2 (V2): Freight train
Injuries: 1 minor injury

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Accident Description

The truckdriver stated that he saw the train when he was about 120 feet away from the passive grade crossings on Stansbury Road. (See figure 1.) He said that he believed he would jackknife the truck if he tried to stop and decided to accelerate in an attempt to get across the tracks before the train arrived. The train struck the right side of the first semitrailer. At impact, the first trailer detached from the tractor and severed into three pieces. The second trailer detached from the front trailer and wrapped around the front of the locomotive, rupturing the fuel tank of the locomotive. One train crewmember sustained minor injuries.

State/Federal Oversight

Utah adopted all of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations with some variances; none of the variances were pertinent to the carrier or driver at the time of the accident. The U.S. Department of Transportation performed a compliance review on July 12, 1984, giving the carrier an overall rating of satisfactory and a conditional rating for compliance with driver qualifications (Part 391). The Utah Department of Transportation performed reviews of the carrier in March 1994 and January 1995.

Figure 1. Accident diagram.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the truckdriver's poor judgment in attempting to cross the tracks before the train arrived.

Adopted: September 17, 2002