On Tuesday, May 24, at 9:02 a.m., personnel from the Salem Police and Salem Fire and EMS Departments responded to the 1600 block of Apperson Drive in reference to a City of Salem garbage truck that had been struck by a Norfolk Southern freight train. The accident occurred at the crossing that is directly across the street from Margaret Lane.
Upon arrival, first responders found the driver of the city vehicle outside of the overturned truck with multiple injuries. They immediately began stabilizing him and transported him to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital with life-threatening injuries.
At approximately 11:15 a.m., Norfolk Southern began moving the train and shortly afterwards hazmat crews began cleaning up the diesel fuel that leaked from the overturned dumpster disposal truck. The vehicle also was removed from the far side of the tracks.
It was determined that the vehicle was traveling south after exiting a business located near the railroad crossing. As it approached Apperson Drive, the sanitation truck was struck on the passenger side by the eastbound train. Because of the direction of the crash, traffic on Apperson was not diverted at any time.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation and the driver’s name is not being released at this time.