SLOATSBURG, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Metro-North train crashed into a tractor-trailer in Rockland County on Tuesday evening.
It happened in Sloatsburg, New York, around 6:30 p.m. at Route 17 and Washington Avenue.
Witnesses watched in horror as the 5:25 p.m. train from Secaucus, New Jersey, hit a big rig stuck on the Port Jervis tracks.
Witness Chris Schucht of Tuxedo, New York, caught the moment of impact on video.
“The gates from the crossing came down and that’s when you go into panic mode. It was just scary,” he told CBS2’s Tony Aiello.
The diesel locomotive that smashed into the truck cut the trailer in two, spilling a cargo of hundreds of HP laser printers onto the ground.
Brittany Coriaty was on the train that hit the truck.
“I couldn’t believe that we actually sliced through something like that. Everybody on the train was saying it was a tractor-trailer and I didn’t believe them. When we got off the train and saw all the debris, it was really startling,” she said.
The train was coming around a bend after stopping in Sloatsburg when passengers felt a jolt as the engineer started to slow down.
“It didn’t stop in time, so we kinda jolted forward for a stop and then we did a huge jolt forward for when we hit the tractor-trailer,” Coriaty said.
Thankfully, no injuries were reported.
The truck driver stayed at the scene.
Witnesses say he obviously got stuck on the tracks trying to navigate the narrow turn onto the Route 17 access road.
“He was froze. He was definitely, he didn’t know what to do, and by the time the gates came down and I saw the train coming around the corner, I knew it was going to be ugly,” Schucht said.
Hundreds of passengers were delayed. Some trains left passengers in Sloatsburg due to the accident farther up the line.
“I thought I’d be home by 7:20, it’s 8 o’clock and we’re just out here waiting for the buses to come take us home,” commuter Tammy Primus said.
By 8:40 p.m., the line was reopened with trains slowly rolling past the impact site.
Anyone who takes the affected line should check Wednesday morning for any possible residual delays.
CBS2 has been told the clean-up will likely cost the trucking company north of $100,000.
It’s unclear if the truck driver, who remained in the truck at the moment of impact, will be hit with any citations.