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Road Reopened, Driver Charged Following Morning Crash

Westminster traffic is flowing freely following the clean-up efforts on Hahn Road.

A 63-year-old Pennsylvania man has been charged with negligent driving and other offense following a morning collision in Westminster involving the tractor-trailer he was operating and an oncoming train. There were no reported injuries.

Sheriff’s deputies have charged Thomas E. Taylor, of Biglerville, PA, with negligent driving, failing to stop at a railroad crossing and other driver-related offenses.

Hahn Road between Route 27 and Woodward Road has been reopened after having been closed until 3 p.m. on Monday.

Taylor's vehicle, a 2003 Mack Tractor pulling a 53-foot trailer, was traveling east along Hahn Road just before 11 a.m., when it crossed the tracks into the path of an oncoming train that was traveling north, according to police reports. The train rammed the back of the trailer, crushing the backside of the nearly empty container and pushing it from the tracks before stopping approximately 300 feet down the track. 

Police say alcohol is not considered to be a factor in the collision.

The investigation revealed that the flashing railroad crossing signals were operating at the time of the collision, and that the train’s engineer had sounded the train’s whistle prior to the crossing, the police press release stated. 

Taylor has also been charged with failing to keep his driver log book current and with having no records of his vehicle operations for the past seven days. According to the release, Taylor has been released on citations pending trial.  

Members of the Maryland State Police, Maryland State Highway Administration, and Carroll County Public Works Department worked to redirect traffic during the investigation and clean-up. 

Anyone with information about the accident, or who may have witnessed the collision, is asked to contact Deputy Brandon Holland of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office at 410-386-2900, or bholland@ccg.carr.org. 

Sheila F January 30, 2012 at 10:23 PM
He SHOULD be charged! The trains that come thru here are VERY short (esp compared with the lengths at other areas) and the horn is loud enough to hear when the train is visible. The driver should have seen AND heard the train and should NOT have attempted to try to beat it.
Nick Trent January 31, 2012 at 03:45 AM
I work across route 27 up on the hill overlooking the tracks and Hahn road. The train definitely sounded the horn WELL before the impact. Didn't notice if the lights were flashing. The tracks are straight for quite a ways from the direction it was coming from, as well. What ever happened to stop, look, and listen? LOL!
Ed January 31, 2012 at 01:31 PM
So what is your grudge against the railroad and the sheriff's office? What particular knowledge do you have of this incident that makes your comments believable?
BP January 31, 2012 at 07:50 PM
http://www.wapt.com/r/30336620/detail.html Well Ed watch this clip --Sheriff "the conductor said they (the signals) were working. Who gives a damn what the conductors say after these crashes ED?
Ed February 01, 2012 at 10:13 AM
BP, I'm trying to understand what a news report in Mississippi about a high speed passenger train that hits and kills a man in a pick-up truck has to do with a case in Maryland where a slow moving freight train runs into the back of a semi in an incident that causes no injuries. By the way, there is no sheriff quoted in that story, its a police officer. And the FULL quote from that news story (NOT the video clip, by the way) is as follows: "The conductor said that they were, so we're still in that early stage of investigating to see if they were working," Yazoo City Police Maj. Larry Davis said. So in the Yazoo City case, there had not even been a determination of fault at the time this article was written because the conductor's side of the story is just one part of the investigation. You seem to be insinuating that based on this report in Mississippi, that in the Carroll County case all the deputy did was ask the conductor if the gate was working as an excuse to ticket the semi driver. The story says no such thing. Unless you have inside information, you don't even know if the conductor in the Westminster case said the gates were down, you don't know if there were other witnesses to the crash and you don't know if they conducted a test of the gate. So again, I ask,what is the basis for your venom against the railroad and our local law enforcement based on the facts presented in this story in the WESTMINSTER case, NOT the Yazoo City case?
withavengeance February 01, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Nick, that would be 'NCS' syndrome raising its ugly head yet again...No Common Sense! Common Sense just can't be taught. It has to be learned and some people are dense. This particular RR crossing is THE most heavily marked one in all of Westminster, so far as I can tell. Not too long ago, a tractor trailer blocked traffic there for quite a while as he maneuvered his rig trying to make a U turn. Talk about NCS, LOLOL! I was in the traffic that was backed up in all directions and I just sat there and LMAO ;) That was a 'train wreck' (pun intended) just waiting to happen, had a train come along. Most tractor trailers at this location are either coming or going to Random House. The railroads monitor all train crossing locations at all times. I have no doubt that they can prove everything was working at the time. Plus the driver's log books weren't up to date...that's a huge no-no.
BP February 01, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Well Ed ---it's the same junk crossing equipment being used. There were no gates here. The Feds show a 10 mph train speed limit in this case. How does a 10 mph train hit a tractor trailer? Was it illegally going backwards with no flaggers?
Sheila F February 02, 2012 at 01:55 AM
BP - I live near one of these crossings. NONE of them are gated. And honestly, none of them need to be.We have people all the time attempting to beat the trains. There are MULTIPLE horns blown by the trains. I can hear the ones in downtown Westminster as well as the ones at Gorsuch (Im near the Cranberry crossing). What we need are people to just stop for 2 to 3 minutes and let the train go by. Ya know how a 10 mph train hits a tractor trailer? The tractor trailer drivers believes he can beat it.
Sheila F February 03, 2012 at 03:03 AM
BP A track that runs faster trains WOULD have gates. I dont see any correlation between that and what happened here. Its very simple. This tractor trailer driver attempted to beat a train, when he should have stopped and got hit. Its VERY simple....you hear a train layin on his horn, you stop and wait for it to pass. That would solve these problems. Its obvious this driver didnt do that.
Ed February 03, 2012 at 11:14 AM
Sheila, Here is what I have learned so far about BP in this virtual discussion. First, he MUST get in the last word. No matter what anyone else says, he will have to have the last post on this thread. He just can't help himself. Second, he thinks all rail crossing equipment is junk. (Except for one post where he said the equipment at the intersection in questioin is more expensive than needed and should be placed at a busier crossing with faster trains. But he still thinks this accident was the railroad's fault.) Third, cops don't know how to handle investigations of train vs.motor vehicle accidents. Fouth, the media fails to properly report on said accidents. In another post, he listed a bunch of equipment and/or health issues that could have caused the truck to be on the tracks, but he still insists the railroad is at fault. I suspect we will be wasting our electronic breath responding to any of his susequent posts. I don't know, maybe he lost a loved one in a train accident, in which case I do feel bad, but that doesnt mean all crossings are bad, all engineers lie, all cops do crappy investigations and all reporters are idiots. BP, for the last time, the discussion is about THIS crash at THIS crossing in THIS community. Not one in Mississippi on a crossing that is much different than ours, and not about rail crossings in general. There has been NOTHING coming out of this that indicates the engineer or the crossing equipment failed or the cops messed up....
Ed February 03, 2012 at 11:27 AM
.....messed up the investigation. Even with several different media reporting, there is nothing saying that the truck driver claims the signals were not working. About 25 years ago there was a fatal accident at an ungated crossing in Hampstead when a train hit an 18-wheeler. Tests showed that the lights were working properly and there was not evidence the train was speeding. Of course, your default position would still be that the railroad was at fault. At the time,there were calls for a gate, yet interstingly enough, there has not been a serioius accident at that crossing since. Several years ago, I think in the Chicago area, a train hit a school bus causing several fatalities. Even though surviving students on the bus said the driver was at fault, I'm sure you would insist the railroad was at fault. I'm sure you will respond and resort to name calling (such as Sheila being "clueless"), so I hope you enjoy your life of tilting at this particular windmill.
Kym Byrnes (Editor) February 03, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Thanks for your continued feedback on this story. Just a reminder that any post that digresses to personal attacks or inappropriate language will be deleted.
withavengeance February 03, 2012 at 06:38 PM
I think BP is a disgruntled former employee of CSX or some other railroad.
Nick Trent February 04, 2012 at 05:47 AM
Here's something that'll make BP even more happy. Now, instead of flashing lights at this crossing (Due to the tractor trailer taking em out) a guy gets out of the train with flares, and stops traffic manually as the train crosses at less than 1 MPH. lol!
Sheila F February 04, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Where are there GATES at a railroad crossing in Hampstead?
Sheila F February 05, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Sorry BP.....but Ive been on 30 from Reisterstown to the PA line and do not recall GATES. Be a little more specific.
Sheila F February 08, 2012 at 01:52 AM
BP Youre gonna have to be a little specific in the way that you could give me cross streets. This longitude latitude stuff doesnt work for me. My bf traveled from 30 from Rt 91 all the way north today and saw no gates. So either youre misinformed or relying on some report on the internet. Either way, you cant be local to this area.

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