GPS distraction blamed for truck-train collision

Feb. 21, 2013

A truck driver who was adjusting his GPS device ran off Highway 14 near Vancouver, WA, and dumped his tractor-trailer on the railroad tracks Feb. 7.  As the driver, Rasul A. Tedorov, 39, of Vancouver, fumbled for his cell phone in the overturned cab, his rig was rammed from behind by a freight train, according to a report in the Columbian.

According to BNSF Railway spokesman Gus Melonas, the train — two locomotives and two freight cars — was traveling about 45 mph as it approached the overturned truck. The train crew immediately applied emergency brakes and managed to slow down to 17 mph by the time the train hit the empty trailer, Melonas said.

No one was injured in the crashes, which occurred about 10 miles east of Stevenson and 55 miles east of Vancouver.

The train carried two loads of lumber, but stayed on the tracks.

The trucker will be charged with second-degree negligent driving, according to the state patrol.

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Deborah Whistler

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