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WEST MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, PA – A semi driver faces charges after causing a truck accident Monday morning in York County, Pennsylvania. The driver was southbound on Zarfoss Drive in West Manchester Township when he slammed into a speeding freight train. The truck accident occurred in the south part of Pennsylvania, about 56 miles north of Baltimore, Maryland and about 112 miles west of Camden, New Jersey.

A UPS freight tractor trailer crashed into a train at the rail crossing on Zarfoss Drive near West Market Street on Monday, Jan. 24, 2011. West Manchester Township police officer Keith Roehm said the truck driver, Monte Poff of Red Lion, was headed southbound on Zarfoss when he didn't see the rail crossing lights because the sun was in his eyes. No injuries were sustained, although the train dragged the truck about 130 yards before it came to a compete stop. Chris Dunn photo

On Monday morning, January 24, 57 year old Monte Poff of Red Lion, PA was driving a semi trailer truck through south Pennsylvania. The trucker was carrying a cargo of packages for UPS Ground Freight Transportation at the time of the truck accident. UPS in an international shipping company based in Atlanta, Georgia.

It was about 7:30 a.m. Monday morning and Mr. Poff had reached West Manchester Township in York County, PA. He was headed south on Zarfoss Dr. near the Frito Lay Plant when the truck accident occurred. At the same time a York Rail Logistics train pulling 17 cars was about to go through the railroad crossing over Zarfoss Drive. The train conductor was identified as 53 year old Scott Snyder. York Rail Logistics is a bulk transportation facility based in York, PA.

As the tractor trailer was approaching the intersection with West Market Street the truck driver attempted to go over the crossing and drove into the side of the moving York Rail Line locomotive. The train conductor, Mr. Snyder, told police investigating the truck accident that he saw the semi trailer approaching and repeatedly blew the train whistle to alert the truck driver. The flashing warning lights were also activated at the crossing but there is no safety gate where the tracks cross Zarfoss Dr.


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When Mr. Snyder realized that the 18 wheeler was apparently not stopping, the train conductor began applying the freight train’s brakes. The York Rail train would travel about 130 yards before finally coming to a stop.

The semi truck became momentarily caught on the locomotive during the incident and was carried about 5 yards down the tracks before disengaging. One of the train crossing lights was knocked down during the truck accident.

No other persons or vehicles were involved in the truck accident.

Local emergency workers rushed to the crash site. The semi driver, Mr. Poff, was able to get out of the cab section of his truck and was not injured in the truck accident. The train conductor also escaped injury in the collision.

The area surrounding the crash site was closed for a short time on Monday while crews cleared the debris and repaired the downed train warning light pole. A heavy duty wrecker was brought to the truck accident scene and towed the tractor trailer away. It is not known if the PA State Commercial Vehicle Unit will conduct an inspection of the partially damaged 18 wheeler.

The York Rail train also left the area after the truck accident. It is not known if the original locomotive engine was used or if a replacement locomotive was sent to the crash site.

West Manchester Township Police are investigating the morning truck accident. According to reports the driver of the semi, Mr. Poff, claims that he was blinded by the sun and did not see the warning lights at the railroad crossing. There was no reason given on why he did not hear the repeated warnings of the loud train whistle. Police have not confirmed if the truck driver was compelled to submit to a toxicology screening, often required after commercial truck accidents.

At this point the semi driver has been charged with Failing to Obey Signals Indicating an Approaching Train.

Additional charges could be brought once the investigation of the truck accident is complete.

For more information about Pennsylvania trucking laws, truck injury causes and victims’ rights, contact truck accident lawyers Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP for expert truck accident advice. Visit our PA truck accident lawyer page for more information about PA truck accidents. For a free initial consultation, talk to a truck accident attorney at 1.800.773.6770.

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