Train collides with tractor-trailer stuck on tracks in Union County

The railroad crossing in Wingate has been the site of several collisions in recent months.
The semi-truck that had run aground on the high grade of the crossing was carrying bricks, as witnesses quickly found out.
Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 5:37 PM EDT
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WINGATE, N.C. (WBTV) - A train collided with a tractor-trailer at a Union County railroad crossing on Thursday evening.

The railway, which crosses North Main Street in Wingate, is just off of Highway 74 at Wingate University.

According to the Union County Sheriff’s Office, the incident happened around 5 p.m. Thursday.

They said, thankfully, no one was injured.

According to Wingate Police, truck driver Patrick Rainey and passenger Dandris Lakes were arrested at the scene after cocaine, magic mushrooms, marijuana and an open container of alcohol were found in the vehicle.

Officers said the driver showed no signs of impairment and the possession of the controlled substances is not believed to be a contributing factor in the crash, which rattled nearby residents and business owners.

“[It] really it sounded like thunder. It was a big boom and I kind of felt it. It was a little scary,” Jay Moncrief, who owns a nearby tattoo shop, said. “I’ve been in business here about five years, and there’s probably about 15 trucks that’ve been caught on the tracks, and this is the third truck that’s been hit.”

Moncrief isn’t the only one fed up by the frequency of these collisions.

“It happens too often right here in this spot. Three times in a few months,” said Tammy Davis, who lives in the area and saw the crash.

This time, the tractor-trailer had been hauling brick and got stuck after landing gear got caught on the asphalt.

Photos of the crash showed the train plowed through the middle of the trailer, scattering debris in the immediate area.

In recent months, several tractor-trailers have gotten stuck on the tracks, leading to multiple collisions.

Local leaders met in March to discuss solutions, and NCDOT officials have said the roadway needs to be raised in order to solve the issue, which could cost at least $1 million.

The sheriff’s office along with Wingate Police and CSX are investigating the latest collision.

Related: Leaders seek improvements to problematic Wingate train tracks after collisions