Pickup hit by train in Essex Man, child walk away from crash BALTIMORE COUNTY

December 23, 1992|By Frank D. Roylance | Frank D. Roylance,Staff Writer

An Essex man and his 5-year-old son walked away from their demolished pickup truck yesterday after it was struck by a Conrail freight train traveling at 49 mph at a crossing just off Pulaski Highway in Essex.

Baltimore County police said Ottoway Harrison Jr., 38, of the 8200 block of Pulaski Highway, and his son, Ottoway III, suffered only minor injuries in the collision. They were listed in stable condition at Francis Scott Key Medical Center in Baltimore, where they were still being evaluated in the emergency room late yesterday.

Mr. Ottoway told police he was driving south on Batavia Farm Road, just off the 8000 block of Pulaski Highway, when the accident occurred at 11:55 a.m.

"He told police he stopped at the railroad track and didn't see any train," said police spokesman E. Jay Miller. "Then he started to pull forward . . . and was struck by a westbound freight."

Lynn Johnson, a spokesman for CSX Transportation in Jacksonville, Fla, said the Conrail-owned locomotives were returning empty orange juice refrigerator cars from New Jersey to Florida.

There is no light signal or gate at the crossing, just a wooden post marking the tracks.

The speed limit for trains there is 50 mph.

Mr. Miller said the train was traveling at 49 mph. The engine struck the front end of the 1981 Chevrolet pickup, ripped out its engine and transmission and dragged the front bumper down the track.

"When the officer got there, Harrison and his son were standing there looking at the engine," Mr. Miller said. "The father complained of back problems; the boy had an injured wrist."

"There was no evidence of alcohol or drugs on either side and no charges were filed," Mr. Miller said.

Mr. Johnson said damage to the lead locomotive was slight. The engines and crew were replaced, and the track was cleared and returned to service at 3:30 p.m.

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