Train and semi collide near Arcelor Mittal

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 17, 2010



This story was updated at 12 p.m. on Saturday, July 17

LAPLACE – Three people were hospitalized with “non-life threatening” injuries Friday morning after a train locomotive collided with an 18-wheeler at a LaPlace railroad crossing.

Authorities with Canadian National, which owns the locomotive, and State Police Troop B conducted investigations into what happened Friday afternoon.

Patrick Waldron, a spokesman for Canadian National, said the accident occurred at about 7:15 a.m. at a railroad crossing on Louisiana Highway 3217 near the Arcelor Mittal facility in LaPlace. He said a single locomotive or “light engine” collided with 18-wheeler as the truck was crossing the intersection.

Waldron could not say whether the engine was sounding its horn as it approached the intersection. The intersection is equipped with signage and emergency signals, but no crossing gate.

Waldron said the locomotive’s conductor and engineer, as well as the driver of the 18-wheeler, were taken to River Parishes hospital with injuries. No information about their condition is available.

Troop B Spokeswoman Melissa Matey said State Police cited the driver of the 18-wheeler, Keith Celestin, 36, of Houma, with failure to yield.

According to a release from the Department of Transportation and Development, Louisiana 3217 is shut down in both directions at the railroad crossing as a result of the accident. Scott Boyle, a traffic operations engineer for DOTD, said the intersection is expected to remain closed through Tuesday as crews work to repair damage to the road and rail line. He said drivers should use Louisiana Highway 44 (River Road) or Louisiana Highway 628 as an alternate route.