It happened in the middle of the night last week off West 3rd Street.
A Cleveland police report just released reveals multiple safety hazards, including poor lighting.
Investigators say a big dump truck with a full load hit a Norfolk Southern train crushing the conductor. Louis Shuster died.
The police report shows ”no flashing lights or railroad gates” at the railroad crossing.
The report also notes “the rear train car lacked any kind of lighting indicating it was moving in reverse.”
Plus, “the gravel yard and vehicle paths were dimly lit with overhead lighting.”
Police also say the size of the dump and position of the cab also played a role because “the direction of travel for both the train and the (truck) created a visual obstruction for the operator.”
Last week, a union leader spoke out to the I-Team. Vince Verna, vice president with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen said, “We’re very sorry to hear about the tragedy with our union brother there. That accident will be investigated fully to see what happened and how we can prevent this in the future.”
There are no charges yet as Cleveland police are still investigating.
So are other agencies.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said it has opened an investigation with Norfolk Southern, the operator of the train; TMS, the company that owns and operates the dump truck; and Cleveland Cliffs, property where the incident happened.
An OSHA spokesperson wrote the following:
“OSHA has six months to complete its investigation and determine if any of the three companies violated federal safety regulations that contributed to the fatality. OSHA may issue citations and propose monetary penalties if violations are found.
“The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) as well as the NTSB, are also agency investigating the incident since the Norfolk Southern employee was operating their train over their tracks when the fatality occurred.”