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Trees, vegetation blamed for blocking view in multiple train crashes at Rosedale railroad crossing

By PAUL GESSLER

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    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A CSX train collided with a semi-truck Wednesday afternoon in Rosedale.

But, it’s not the first time a train was involved in a crash at that railroad crossing along Lake Drive.

WJZ learned Wednesday’s crash is the fourth such train collision at that exact crossing since 1988.

It crosses a private road and has never had a gate.

Arial view from the crash showed the CSX train had dragged the truck more than 1,000 feet before coming to a stop.

The view from the ground showed a mangled mess.

“They held that horn a very long time,” said Shane Sanders, who works nearby. “I could hear it in the distance.”

Sanders, a witness of the crash, estimates the train was going at least 30 mph.

CSX said its train collided with two semi-trucks just after 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Rosedale resident Ramon Rhodes blames vegetation and trees for restricting the view of the drivers crossing the tracks.

“They can’t see a train coming until they’re practically on top of the grade crossing,” Rhodes said.

The truck driver was taken to the hospital, and no other injuries were reported.

“The trucks who come in and out of this industrial area back here go across that grade crossing without stopping many times,” Rhodes said.

Investigators found that was the same for the past two crashes at the crossing.

First, in 2013, a train and a truck crashed and triggered a chemical explosion.

The NTSB investigation showed the driver in that crash “failed to ensure the tracks were clear.”

There was another crash at the same crossing 14 months later.

Surveillance video captured a collision when a garbage truck failed to stop and crashed with a train.

“People have to be aware there could potentially be a train coming at any time,” Rhodes said. “And, you have to stop. You have to look. You have to listen.”

This crash is under investigation.

But, overgrown vegetation was an issue in previous collisions.

Drivers have previously told NTSB investigators they don’t stop at this crossing because they would need to stop on the tracks to be able to see a train.

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