posted on April 08, 2011 15:08
A pick-up struck by a train in Byron – miraculously, no one is hurt. The driver is arrested.
It happened late last night. The County Sheriff’s Department received a complaint around 11:00pm that a pick-up truck was driving without a tire, scraping the metal rim on the roadway near Routes 33 and 19 and Bergen.
Deputy Howard Carlson responded and discovered a long scrape mark in the roadway. So he followed it - all the way down to Lyman Road, and then Coward Road. Apparently, the driver had left the roadway there and ruined someone’s yard. Then the driver continued down Coward Road.
Chief of Road Patrol Gordon Dibble explained to WBTA what happened next.
"Coward Road dead-ends at the railroad tracks," says Dibble. "(The driver) didn't stop."
"(The driver) went back towards Bergen on the railroad right-of-way," Dibble continues, "and somewhere between Coward Road and Beaver Meadow road, he decided he should turn around. So he backed his pick-up truck up, towards the tracks, where it got stuck."
The driver, 31-year-old Shane Wheeler, was allegedly drunk behind the wheel, and made no successful attempt to get his truck dislodged from the railroad tracks.
"Shortly after that, about an eighty-car freight train going about sixty miles per hour, rammed the back of the pick-up truck - as he sat in it," says Dibble.
The impact spun the truck 180-degrees, and knocked it off the tracks. The train immediately stopped, and was fully halted by the time Deputy Carlson arrived on-scene. The deputy and conductor got to the mangled vehicle at about the same time.
They allegedly found 31-year-old Shane Wheeler drunk behind the wheel. He was uninjured, though Chief Dibble describes the truck as being "totaled."
Wheeler is charged with DWI and Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident, among other things. He’s due in court May 2nd.