Train Derails In Collegedale After Vehicle Hauling A Concrete Beam Is Struck; Lengthy Closure Set For Apison Pike

  • Tuesday, December 20, 2022
photo by Zach Lane

A train derailed in Collegedale early Tuesday afternoon after the engine plowed into a flat bed vehicle carrying a concrete bridge beam that was on the track.

The flat bed portion of the vehicle and the beam were ripped into numerous sections as some 10 rail cars went off the track.

The wreck was at Apison Pike and University Drive.

Two people were injured.

TDOT officials said, "At approximately 12:30 p.m., a train hit a bridge beam being delivered to the SR 317 (Apison Pike) reconstruction project, resulting in a derailment near the intersection of Apison Pike and University Drive.

"Both roads are closed at this time and will remain closed until a crash investigation has been completed and the incident has been cleared. TDOT, Norfolk Southern, and emergency responders are on the scene.

"Consider an alternate route through the area, if possible. This will be a lengthy closure."

Amy Maxwell, of county emergency preparedness, said, "This afternoon a Norfolk Southern train slammed into a tractor trailer carrying a 134-foot concrete truss beam in Collegedale. At 12:30 p.m., a motorist called 911 reporting a train derailment located at Apison Pike and University Drive.

"Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department and Collegedale Police Department responded to the scene and confirmed a large train derailment. Tri-Community VFD requested a mutual aid response for additional manpower and hazardous materials clean up efforts. Hamilton County HazMat team, Hamilton County Rescue and Chattanooga Fire Department responded to the scene.

"According to fire officials, the driver of the tractor trailer was stopped on the railroad tracks waiting for the light to turn green on Tucker Road. During that time, Norfolk Southern Railroad activated its crossing arms. The tractor trailer was unsuccessful of clearing the railroad tracks and was hit by the train. Three locomotives and 10 railroad cars derailed and slammed into each other causing a disastrous mess. Two Norfolk employees sustained minor injuries and were transported to local area hospitals by HCEMS.

"Hamilton County Hazmat team, Chattanooga Fire Department and Tri-Community VFD used absorbent booms and pads to assist with the large diesel spill for the three locomotives.

"Highway 58 VFD, Catoosa County FD, and Chattanooga Fire Department stood by at Tri-Community fire stations for any additional emergency calls in their district."

photo by William Watts
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