Train hits semi in Brooks

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A train hit a semi with two trailers in Brooks Friday morning, March 8.

A train hit a semi with two trailers in Brooks Friday morning, March 8.

BROOKS – A semi truck with trailer may be one of the biggest vehicles on the road.
It’s still no match for a train.

A collision between a Portland Western Freight train and a 1989 Freightliner truck left the truck destroyed and its driver at Salem Hospital.

According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Amity’s Allen Parks, 56, left the loading dock at Marion AG Service Inc. at 3635 Brooklake Lake N. in Brooks shortly after 10 a.m. Friday, March 8.

Parks, a driver for Halsey-based Simplot Soil Builders, had double trailers filled with 35 tons of ammonium sulfate fertilizer as he started to cross the Portland Western railroad tracks adjacent to the facility.

Parks didn’t yield to the freight train moving at about 25 mph on the track. Train conductor Matthew Astle, 38, was unable to stop in time and hit the truck. The impact overturned the truck and trailers, causing a minor diesel and pellet fertilizer spill. The track crossing is not controlled by a signal device.

Parks was transported for treatment of head and leg injuries. Neither Astle nor his assistant were injured.

Marion County Fire District personnel responded to deal with the spills, with the train expected to block Brooklake for several hours. Pacific Western Railroad is investigating the crash.

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