Board Meeting Animations - Collision Between Amtrak Train 97 and Molnar Worldwide Heavy Haul Company Tractor-Trailer Combination Vehicle at Highway-Rail Grade Crossing
July 23, 2002
Intercession City, Florida
November 17, 2000
Videos were presented at the Board meeting on 7/23/02 in Washington, D.C.
Disclaimer: Visualizations presented below used scene and vehicle surveys, witness statements, vehicle operating characteristics, and pictures from the scene. The depictions are not intended to represent actual lighting conditions at the time of the accident
Vehicle Dynamics: A visualization of the truck's path was rendered. The visualization and accident are described below.
1. The animation begins as the truck is making a left turn from Old Tampa Highway onto KOA Power Road. According to witnesses, as the truck proceeded through the turn the cargo bed of the trailer overlapped onto the grassy area on the northwest corner of the intersection where a guide wire and stop sign were located. In order to maneuver around the guide wire the driver had to stop, back up, and move forward several times while the rear auxiliary driver  steered around the guide wire. The backing up and moving forward could have taken several minutes and is not depicted in the animation.
2. Once the truck was properly aligned the driver proceeded across the tracks without stopping. When the truck entered the crossing, the crossing gates were in the upright position and the signals were not flashing. At the rear of the trailer you will see a rear or "pusher tractor". This is attached to the rear of the trailer and was unoccupied at the time of the accident. Just forward of the "pusher tractor" is the platform where the auxiliary driver was located. As the truck proceeded across the tracks the signals began to flash and the gates descended and struck the trailer. As the "pusher tractor" approached the tracks the auxiliary driver got off his platform and ran clear of the crossing, avoiding injury to himself. His actions are not depicted in the video. As the unoccupied "pusher tractor" was being pulled across the tracks it was struck on the right side by the westbound train.
The simulations were produced on an HVT system using SIMON, EDGENT and ReadDataFilT. All of the programs are trademarks of the Engineering Dynamics Corporation and Collision Engineering Associate.
1. The auxiliary driver was located on a platform near the rear of the tractor combination vehicle. From the platform he could steer the rear of the trailer.