A Missouri man whose tractor-trailer rig was slammed by a freight train yesterday as he tried to turn the truck around on train tracks in Rosedale was in serious but stable condition last night at Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, police said.
Police said Steven Potter, 40, of St. Peters, Mo., crawled from his demolished rig and sought help after the accident at 9: 20 a.m. in an industrial park at Todds Lane and Pulaski Highway.
The operator of the CSX Transportation train, Charles Moffett, 56, of Kingsville was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center after the accident, complaining of chest pains. He was in good condition yesterday.
Baltimore County police spokesman Kevin Novak said the crash occurred after Potter, who was delivering plastics to Poly-Seal Corp. in the 8300 block of Pulaski Highway, attempted a three-point turn to park his 1997 International Harvester closer to a loading dock.
Potter crossed train tracks -- and stopped in the way of the three-car CSX train being pulled by a locomotive at about 35 mph.
The tractor-trailer was dragged 400 feet on the tracks and was mangled by the train. After the train came to a stop, Potter crawled out of the truck's cab and walked to get help, police said.
He told police he heard the train's whistle but did not see the train.
CSX spokesman Robert Gould said the locomotive was being examined for minor damage suffered in the crash.
Gould said car-train collisions are a problem for the rail industry. He said some drivers try to beat trains through intersections, not- ing that it takes the average freight train with 150 cars 1 1/2 miles to stop from a cruising speed of 50 mph.
"The public needs to treat rail crossings with the same caution and respect that they would treat a highway intersection," Gould said yesterday from CSX headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla.
Four hours after the accident yesterday, a CSX locomotive and a string of rail cars used a chain to pull the tractor-trailer from a ditch beside the train tracks.
Pieces of the truck were strewn on the tracks.
Pub Date: 5/09/97