Regarding the March 10 news article “Amtrak collision in Halifax injures dozens”: The N&O account of this accident stated that the oversize load that caused the derailment had already (ironically) cleared the railroad crossing. Because the trucker was unable to execute a turn onto U.S. 301, a decision was made to back onto the crossing (private property of the railroad) for another try, imperiling for a second time any potential rail traffic.
Perfect 20/20 hindsight suggests this was a poor decision, made by either the trucker or the highway patrol escort leader or by both. In any event, the highway patrol is complicit and will need to be held accountable. Perhaps they decided to trade off a few mail boxes and power/phone lines versus the chance that a train would not hit the trailer?
The entire purpose of the highway patrol’s involvement in the movement of oversized loads is to map out routes with the trucker that will not imperil the public. This involves intellectual activity, taking note of the load dimensions, weight, horsepower requirements and a list of any impediments (weight restrictions, height restrictions, etc.) and in this case any turns that might present a problem to a load 164 feet in length.
Kenneth M. Ross
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