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Florence truck driver escapes injury in New Jersey train crash

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Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2013 10:31 am | Updated: 1:51 pm, Sat Jun 22, 2013.

GARFIELD, N.J. — New Jersey Transit crews worked Friday evening to clean up tracks in northern New Jersey after a collision between a westbound train and tractor-trailer stopped service for the evening commute.

Trains on the Bergen County Line between Secaucus and Ridgewood were suspended after the noon crash near the Garfield station. Service resumed that night.

According to NJ Transit spokesman John Durso Jr., the tractor-trailer became stuck at a crossing and was struck by the train, severing the truck's cab from its trailer and sending the train's locomotive off the rails.

The train's engineer and a passenger were injured and taken to Hackensack University Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, Durso said. Thirty-eight passengers and four crew members were on the six-car train at the time.

The truck's driver, Donald Brown of Florence, S.C., exited the vehicle before the crash and was uninjured. There was no record of Brown calling 911 before the crash and it wasn't immediately known how much time passed between the truck being stuck and the collision, Durso said.

The truck is registered to an Illinois company and was delivering a shipment of plastic pellets to a company in Garfield, Durso said.

It wasn't known how fast the train was traveling at the time of the collision. Durso said express trains travel in excess of 50 mph on that stretch but that the train involved in the crash was a local and likely would have been traveling slower.

Crews worked to remove the truck from one set of tracks and move the locomotive back onto the other tracks.

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