DUNBAR, Va. (WSAZ) – Another semitrailer hooked up at the 16th Street and Dunbar Avenue crossing on Sunday.
Dunbar Police Chief Brian Oxley said the incidents happened once or twice a week.
“So you’ve got a GPS that drives these trucks to those areas and they’re trying to go through it, and the intersection is so steep that the trucks get stuck,” Oxley said.
Champ Kerns has a music and video store along 16th Street, just up the road where the railroad tracks cross an elevated three-lane intersection
Semitrailers are not allowed, but that does not stop semiconductors.
“I see an average of two dips a week, sometimes more, sometimes one,” Kerns said.
Over the past few weeks, Oxley said it has dealt with six of these incidents.
“Obviously you can tell it’s a steep incline, but there are big yellow signs that say ‘semi-trailers are prohibited from crossing’ and that directs them to the 10th Street intersection which is flat, ”Oxley said.
These wrecks are not just a minor inconvenience. They tie up an officer, block the three-way intersection, and stop all passing trains for a few hours.
“I mean, it’s pretty dangerous if the truck is hooked up at the intersection and there’s some damage to the rail that could potentially damage a passing train,” Oxley said.
He is also concerned about a situation that could involve a stuck truck and a train too close for officers to alert the railroad.
“Because a train cannot stop if a train is passing. They have to pull them away far enough to start getting them arrested, ”Oxley said.
The situation could potentially cause a train to strike a truck sitting on the tracks. Oxley said if this truck was carrying hazardous materials or items such as batteries it could be even worse.
Oxley said the best solution is to follow signs that direct drivers away from the intersection. Otherwise, they could face charges of breaking traffic signs. He said the biggest risk for drivers is that if a truck breaks down, the driver has to pay the convenience store to come and pick them up and pay the cost if the railroad is damaged.
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