Truck hit by train; driver hurt

SYCAMORE – A man was transported by Life Flight after the tractor-trailer he was driving was hit by a train Tuesday morning.

Edward Hermiller, 66, of Cloverdale, sustained a serious head laceration and was taken to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, Toledo, according to Wyandot County Sheriff’s Office.

He was hauling corn for a farm about a mile north of the tracks and was driving south on TH 31. It appeared he had most of the vehicle across the tracks when the westbound train struck it, said Tim Riedel, assistant EMS chief of Sycamore Volunteer Fire and Rescue.

Deputy Dennis Wilson of Wyandot County Sheriff’s Office said at least one of the tractor-trailer’s fuel tanks exploded, and flames went into the train’s engine.

“The engine’s not movable. Everything locked up,” he said.

Riedel said workers from nearby Heritage Cooperative, the first people to arrive at the scene, extinguished the fire and assisted the rescue crew with removing Hermiller from the truck.

“Luckily, we got him out the back window,” he said.

The train crew members were checked but were not injured, Wilson said.

It was unknown why Hermiller did not see the Wheeling Railroad train, according to the sheriff’s office. Riedel said the railroad crossing has a yield sign but no lights or gates.

The tractor portion of the truck landed on the south side of the tracks after being struck, and the trailer came to rest on the north side of the tracks.

“It separated them, basically,” Riedel said.

The trailer was full of corn, and the train was empty.

Diesel fuel leaked as a result of the accident. Most of it burned, and Wyandot County Emergency Management Agency and railroad contractors were cleaning up the remaining diesel, according to the sheriff’s office.

Personnel from Danner’s Towing & Recycling, Life Flight, State Highway Patrol, the patrol’s commercial vehicle enforcement unit, Sycamore Volunteer Fire and Rescue, Wheeling Railroad, Wyandot County EMA and Wyandot County Sheriff’s Office assisted at the scene of the accident, which was reported around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.