Tractor-trailer split by high-speed train in Norcross

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A high-speed train hit a tractor-trailer moving van stuck on the rails in downtown Norcross on Friday night.

It happened along Thrasher Street NW and Holcomb Bridge Road just before 7 p.m. Norcross Police said a northbound train was not able to stop in time and ended up slamming into a tractor trailer stuck on the tracks, slicing through it. The driver of the tractor trailer was out of the cab assessing the situation when the train came through, but a woman was still inside.

No one was injured in the crash, but the train conductor was checked out at the scene by paramedics for a minor complaint.

The tractor-trailer was sent into several vehicles parked in a nearby lot, causing extensive damage.

The train had very little damage and did not derail. Firefighters helped to check on a possible hydraulic leak on one of the locomotive cars, but it did not become a hazard.

Furniture, clothing, books, family photos, knickknacks, and other personal belongs were spread out along the train tracks. A Bobcat was brought in to help scoop up the items and place them into bins.

One of the truck’s occupants said she was just along for the ride, keeping a friend company as he delivered people’s things across the country. Tracia Smith said they didn’t realize they couldn’t cross this way until it was too late.

“When we realized that no through trucks it was too late we were already on the tracks. And the trailer was stuck so the train came along and he said hop out hop out run, run, and that's what we did hopped out and ran real quick,” said Smith.

Neighbors said when they heard the impact, they knew what had happened.

Police said there are at least 23 signs posted prohibiting commercial, large vehicles, 18-wheelers, large loads, and trailers over tracks along Holcomb Bridge Road in the city. City officials said they have seen about five crashes in the last five years at that location despite the warnings.

“Yes, GPS keeps bringing the 18-wheelers this way and they keep saying its GPS all the time and we tell them there's plenty of signs you should know not to come up this way,” said Sgt. Joe Harkleroad of the Norcross Police Department.

Police said the driver will be fined for driving an oversized vehicle over a closed highway. If there’s any damage to the tracks or crossing gates, he will also be responsible for paying for those.

All rail service through the city was stopped through the overnight hours and all railroad crossings were blocked. The line is operated by Norfolk Southern who is working closely with the Norcross Police Department in investigating the incident.