MURRAY, N.Y. (WIVB) – A Brockport man was lucky to escape a truck before a train heading westbound on the Falls Road Railroad, a line running from Brockport to Lockport, hit the vehicle twice Monday morning, turning it into a fireball.
According to the operator of Falls Road Railroad, the driver of the truck, 24-year-old Lee Sietmann, was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital with minor injuries. The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office says Sietmann drive through the railroad crossing at Hulberton Road and crashed into the moving train.
Deputies say after the truck hit the train, it spun into one of the crossing warning-light poles and then hit the train a second time. Sietmann escaped the truck before it burst into flames and was completely consumed by the fire.
Fancher-Hulberton-Murray Fire Department Assistant Chief Chris Chilson said, “He claims he didn’t see the lights, but they’re pretty obvious. The lights are still running even though the pole is down on the ground. He’s very lucky. He actually struck the train, the train struck him in the box area right behind the cab. If it was struck any further forward he probably wouldn’t have been alive.”
The train’s engine sustained minor damage in the collision.The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office said the train traveled 50 yards west of the crossing before stopping.
Engineer, 56-year-old Neal Keirn of Middleport, and conductor, 49-year-old Lawrence Zablonski of Lackawanna, were the only people on board. They were not injured in the crash.
Two freight cars on the train were carrying approximately 130 tons of fertilizer. The contents were not compromised.
Charges are pending against Sietmann.