No Injuries from Train Striking Automobile
By Vice President Drew Meadows
December 23, 2017

At 1830 hours on the day before Christmas Eve, the station emptied for a high speed train collision with an automobile. Dispatch reported that the incident was at the Rixlew Lane railroad crossing. As the Medic and Ambulance responded from another call, the engine crew geared up in full protective ensemble and rolled out for a possible entrapment scenario.

The Medic was the first to approach the Rixlew crossing, and they reported they could not see the collision as they came on scene. The Engine was still en route and swiftly diverted up Godwin Road to check that crossing, where they found the middle portion of the train stopped across the road. They circled back to Rixlew as the Medic verified that the train had stopped about a hundred feet before the Rixlew crossing.

Battalion Chief 501 (Chief Wood) arrived at the Rixlew crossing and set up command while crews from the Ambulance and Medic checked for victims. They found a sedan partially crushed under the front of the train, and learned that the driver had exited the vehicle before the impact. The Engine rolled on scene moments later, and the engine crew hastened to check for hazards as Tower 501 and Rescue 521 arrived from the City of Manassas.

While the unit officers made contact with the train operators, crews worked with Prince William County and Manassas City police to secure the scene and divert traffic. After verifying that there were no victims or hazards, Battalion 501 terminated command and the scene was handed over to the police. Units returned from the crash glad that no one was injured in what could have been a very tragic incident.

This close call is a reminder that motorists should be alert and cautious at railway crossings.

Units: Engine 511, Medic 511, Ambulance 511
Mutual Aid: Tower 501, Rescue 521
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