CHEAT MOUNTAIN, W.Va. — A logging truck driver is dead and dozens more are injured following an accident on Cheat Mountain Friday afternoon involving a logging truck and a train.

It happened around 2 p.m. at a crossing on Route 250 near the Randolph County and Pocahontas County line.  Route 250 was reopened Saturday night.

“The first call came in to the Pocahontas County 911 at 1:26 p.m. and it was the conductor calling 911, the conductor of the train,” said Lawrence Messina, spokesman for the state Dept. of Military Affairs and Public Safety.

Randolph County Office of Emergency Services Director Jim Wise said “somewhere between 50 to 60 people are slightly injured to injured and three are critical.”

Messina said Friday night that 62 people had been transported to Davis Memorial Hospital in Elkins after the train crash, three of them with critical injuries, according to hospital records.

“Davis reports that 43 people were taken to that hospital by bus, of those four were treated,” he said. “Another 19 were taken to Davis by ambulance, so we have totals of 23 people treated and 39 people who declined initial screening.”

On Friday evening, state officials confirmed the person who was killed was driving the truck that slammed into the side of the train as it crossed Route 250. The driver was identified Saturday as Danny Lee Kimble Sr. of Frank.

State Department of Highways officials tell MetroNews there are warning lights at the crossing and they were operating.

The train is the Cheat Mountain Salamander, a privately owned tourist train operated by Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad.  According to its website, the Cheat Mountain Salamander takes passengers on “mountain wilderness excursion rides.”  This time of year the ride is popular among tourists because of fall foliage.

Governor Tomblin issued a statement saying, “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those involved and the emergency responders working the tragic accident in Randolph County this afternoon.  My administration is working with all agencies involved to ensure the first responders and emergency managers on the ground are receiving the assistance they need.”

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    Pines's wife was a drunk


    Pines's wife is still a drunk.. or a dead drunk

  • jbl

    Pines : I hope your wife rots in hell

  • jbl

    I hope Pines wife rots in hell.

  • lucinda p

    I see where the truck driver was completely at fault.

  • lucinda p

    Remember to STOP, LOOK and LISTEN. Rob, you might want to write this down.

  • jtb

    So Pines, with all of your rr experience, maybe you can tell us what the operating rule is for a shoving movement over a xing at grade is. Do all goofballls like you live in MO....

  • Retired FRA Inspector

    Lucinda, I believe that for some reason Pines feels guilty about his wife's death, and has entered into a life-long mission of demonizing others to ease that guilt. Perhaps if he were better educated, he would be more effective in his endeavor. But as everyone has seemed to notice, he makes nothing but foolish statements. His attack against you makes him look foolish beyond belief!

  • D. P. Lubic

    Rob Pine is such a doofus. The truck isn't a tractor-trailer; it's a straight truck. No trailer to jack-knife.

    Supposedly some information from a train crew member from the area. Just a sad story--and a reminder that maybe we need to really concentrate on what we're doing.

    "I will give some first hand info on the accident. The truck was on a down hill grade. The railroad crossing is well marked with two signs indicating that there is a rail crossing ahead. The signal lights were also working. I talked to some of the people that knew the driver. He usually runs hard while driving. He had just dropped of his daughter and was delivering his last load. His son had a football game that evening and he probably wanted to be there. It is a shame that it ended in his death. We are lucky that the truck hit at the coupling. I have taken photos of the accident scene and the damage to the rail cars."

    A lot of people talk about the distractions of cell phones--and that's true. Some have argued that future cars should have some gizmo that disables cell phones and text devices when the car is in operation, to help enforce concentration on the part of the driver.

    If the train crew member's comments above are true, then it is a reminder that we don't need a cell phone to be distracted. How many of us have let our minds wander with concerns about paying bills, or in anticipation of something we will be doing later?

    I repeat--let this sad story be a reminder of how we should be "heads up" all the time behind the wheel.

  • rob pine

    Anybody watch dogging this railroads financials so they don't quick deed everything before the trials start?

  • rob pine

    Google weather news/west-virgina-truck-train-crash-20131011

    Looking at the pictures here with the truck going downhill and engine facing uphill---The train had to be in push mode illegally without road guards,forward headlights, or forward train horns. The 50 year old whistle sign (in picture of train engine) 400 foot too close to the crossing for 20 mph track would be out of sight of the train engine going backwards till the tail of the train was almost in the road. Isn't the engineer on the btitish side of the cab? So he couldn't see the road nor the truck.

    Since the front of the trailer isn't ripped out ---looks like to me the truck driver jack knifed and layed the truck down intentionally after getting caught in the train trap actually saving a bunch of lives.

    Of course the state will try to cover up the pathetic condition of THEIR railroad crossing and the real facts will be hid as always.

    • jbl

      Push mode , foward horns , road guards....What the hell are you talking about. You are one screwball. Where do you come up with this bs. If the state covers it up , then prove you big bag of wind. You have never proved any of bs before.

      You have no clue what thd rules are for a SHOVE move is.

      • rob pine

        There's several youtube videos of Cheat mountain trains. Shove mode ---gate failures--etc. Common sense would say not to go backwards with no clue what was behind you ---thus road guards. The NO law by Feds is one of the many things that proves they are dirty.

        • lucinda p

          There are several videos of Cheat mtn where people trying to beat the train. Common sense would tell you not to try this with no clue that a train could kill you. The YES LAW proves that dirty people will try anything .....

  • D. P. Lubic

    Whooee!! I'm looking at Rob Pine's comments, and boy, what a piece of work! I am sorry he lost his wife in a collision with a train, but as a serious rail enthusiast who attempted to start a couple of rail services, he has some real issues.

    Case in point: his allegations that the train shouldn't have been there in the fog. Good grief, how long has that railroad been there? Since at least the 1920s, maybe earlier? How long has that crossing been there?

    I wonder what he would think of Amtrak's operations in the Northeast Corridor, with trains hitting up to 150 mph in New England, and 135 mph in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Heck, even commuter trains run at 100 mph there. A commuter train I sometimes ride from Martinsburg to Washington runs for miles in Maryland at 80 mph; curves limit speeds in West Virginia between Harpers Ferry and Martinsburg to about 50 mph.

    I recall reading a description of the Northeast Corridor (NEC) operation back in the late 1940s. Seems a couple of guys were driving up US 1 in Maryland, where it parallels the NEC (then owned and operated by the Pennsylvania Railroad), at night, in a fog, when they were overtaken by a passenger train going about 90 mph. Oh, it's normally quite safe to run that fast--you see, the law requires a railroad to have automatic block signals for operation above 40 mph. Above 80 mph, you need either cab signals (a display in the locomotive cab that duplicates the indications of the signals at trackside) or automatic train stop (automatically stops the train if a signal is ignored). The PRR and successor Amtrak have both on this line.

    The irony of the guys in the car? They were driving from Washington to New York because the airplane they intended to take was grounded on account of the fog. To add insult to injury, they were overtaken by the train as they passed a billboard advertising the air service that said they would have been in New York by the time they had reached that point. Should have taken the train--comfortable ride, nice dining car, good food. Wish we did more with them here in West Virginia.

    As to stopping distances, that's a matter of physics in railroading. Those steel wheels on steel rails have a nice, low coefficient of friction, one that's so low it approaches the supposedly "frictionless" maglev train. That's what makes a railroad so efficient. It also means a train is also running on a factor of adhesion that approaches that of a road covered with ice. For that reason, stopping distances for a train of any size and/or at any speed might be measured in miles. That's why you need to be very careful around a railroad. It's not that it's unsafe--it shouldn't jump and bite you like a snake, it's not like being in combat with people shooting at you--but it can be extremely unforgiving of errors.

    Oh, about those signals in Texas that were up with a train stopped--the gates go up after a certain time if the train is stopped. It's part of modern gate signals, a form of motion detector, meant to keep the crossing open for motorists if a train is standing in the crossing circuit but not blocking it. Gates go down again when the train starts moving. Video doesn't prove a thing.

  • rob pine

    So State Department of Highways officials need fired and arrested for lieing to US and jury tampering.

    1 Dead, 60 injured in train accident
    ...State Department of Highways officials tell MetroNews there are warning lights at the crossing and they were operating....
    Several still recovering from train accident; investigation continues
    7:40 into...(LIGHTS WERE DESTROYED)---spokesperson for the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety ---

    • lucinda p

      rob, why are you not against drinking and driving since you wife was drunk when she was hit by a train. Your safety phoney is hanging out.

  • Retied Track Worker

    Has anyone ever thought that the tourist train company could be at fault. There is a lot more to a crossing then the flashing red lights. There are circuits that the train pass over to cause the lights to come on. These circuits are set up on the speed of track. So if the train was traveling 5 or 10 mph faster then it should have been (the track at Cheat Bridge is not high speed) the truck or maybe even a small car wouldn't been able to stop. (example) If the crossing was set for a train traveling 10mph and to give 10 seconds worth of warning before train foul the crossing. If a train would come into that circuit at 20mph that would only give about 5 seconds of warning. So before the blame can be place there is a lot of information that needs to be reviewed. Other then then the fact a log truck ran into the side of a train. If a car pulls out in front of you driving down the highway and you hit them in the side is it your fault so if there is no warning or not enough warning there is a train coming it can very easily the train company fault. One more thing the company that runs the tourist train leases the track from the state of WV so the state owns the track. I don't know why the state don't run the train it self like they do at Cass. If someone could pay to lease the track and pay employees and make profit then the state would be able to make even more profit then DGVRR can.

  • rob pine

    Looks like the signal on the uphill side was toast laying by the signal house on another news site. The downhill side signal mast I would say would be pancaked by the train car location. Anybody have pictures of the signal masts after?

    Also wondering why the front screen of the log trailer isn't tore to smitherines if the truck hit that hard.

    • Lucinda P

      Looks like the log flats on the trailer hitch were loose. This might be the reason the truck pilot did not see the train. The signal house banter lever is bent. This is caused by the impact of housing wheel of the cow glove of the train