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Accident Report Detail

Highway Accident Brief: Collision Between Passenger Train and Refuse Truck at Active Grade Crossing, Crozet, Virginia

Executive Summary

​On Wednesday, January 31, 2018, about 11:16 a.m., a 2018 Freightliner refuse truck operated by Time Disposal, LLC, was traveling south on Lanetown Road near Crozet, Virginia. The truck was occupied by a 30-year-old driver and two passengers, who were en route to help another crew collect refuse. The truck’s route required traversing a highway–railroad grade crossing on Lanetown Road, at railroad milepost 195.85 of the Buckingham Branch Railroad (BBR). The grade crossing is located on a curved segment of the track and is equipped with an active warning system consisting of flashing warning lights, bells, and gate arms that lower at a train’s approach.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the crash in Crozet, Virginia, was the truck driver’s decision to enter an active grade crossing and his inaction when he encountered obstacles while attempting to cross the railroad tracks, most likely due to his impairment from the combined effects of the drugs marijuana and gabapentin. Contributing to the severity of the injuries was the lack of seat belt use by the truck occupants.

Accident Location: Crozet , VA USA  
Accident Date: 1/31/2018
Accident ID: HWY18MH005

Date Adopted: 3/11/2019
NTSB Number: HAB1903
NTIS Number: