Highway Accident Report

Highway/Rail Grade Crossing Collision
Near Sycamore, South Carolina
May 2, 1995

NTSB Number HAR-96/01
NTIS Number PB96-916201
PDF Document (638K)


Abstract: On May 2, 1995, a truck consisting of a tractor and a lowbed semitrailer became lodged on a high-profile (hump) railroad grade crossing near Sycamore, South Carolina. About 35 minutes later, the truck was struck by southbound Amtrak train No. 81 en route from New York City to Tampa, Florida. No deaths resulted from the accident, but 33 persons sustained minor injuries. Combined property damage to the truck and train exceeded $1 million.

The following issues in grade crossing safety are discussed in this report: identification and warnings of hump crossings, emergency notifications at grade crossings, and adequacy of training for commercial drivers.

As a result of its investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board issued recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation; the Federal Highway Administration; the American Public Transit Association; the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators; the American Trucking Associations, Inc.; the American Short Line Railroad Association; Operation Lifesaver, Inc.; all Class I railroads and railroad systems; and O&J Gordon Trucking Company.