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Truck driver corsses train's path

CREIGHTON (AP) -- A loaded cement truck failed to clear a railroad crossing Wednesday and was smashed by a 103-car Norfolk Southern coal train.

Cement truck driver Raymond Toy, 51, of Worthington was flown to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, where his condition was not immediately available. Rescuers and witnessess said Toy seemed to be dazed after the accident, but his injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

The accident occured on an unprotected crossing near the C.L. Schmidt bridge between New Kensington to Creighton about 20 miles northeat of Pittsburgh. While neither lights nor gates guard the crossing police said there is a stop sign and a sign warning motorists to look for trains.

Toy was driving for Thrower's Trucking of Saxonburg, which owns and operates a cement plant near the railroad crossing.

The truck carried about 6 tons of cement, about a half-load, company owner John Thrower said. The truck was hit right behind the driver near the rear axle and flipped, police said.

"There's only one thing that's important, that he's all right. He was almost across. The only one who knows what happened is him," Thrower told the Valley News Dispatch.

The fully loaded coal train weighed in excess of 10,300 tons.

No one on the train was injured and the train sustained only a broken headlight and damaged handrail, railroad spokeman Rudy Husband said.

September 2, 1999 Pittsburgh Tribune Review