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Fallen tree pins dump truck dangerously close to train tracks

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Fallen tree pins dump truck dangerously close to train tracks during high winds in Pennsylvania on Monday. 

The incident occurred on March 11th in South Heidelberg Township, Pennsylvania during a day of strong wind gusts in the area. 

“The driver was driving past the tree, came down landed on top of the truck,” said Western Berks Fire Commissioner Jared Renshaw to WFMZ. “The tree ended up rolling over top of the truck, down onto the hood, and then it came down right along the driver’s side.”

The tree forced the dump truck to stop right at the edge of some active train tracks, causing a potentially dangerous situation.  

“It was right there, along the westbound side of the track. There’s two separate tracks that run in that railroad,” said Renshaw. “Our dispatch center did make the call right away to Norfolk Southern just because we’ve been working in close proximity.”

First responders say the warning reached the train conductor just in time, and the train was able to stop just before the spot where the truck was stuck with the driver pinned inside. 

“So when we arrived, you know, the driver was still within the cab. He wasn’t seated in the driver’s seat. [He] was actually towards the middle,” said Renshaw. “Where it actually pushed the dash on to the driver, probably about a good 8 to 10 inches, which actually had the driver pin in the seat from the steering wheel.”

First responders had to use hydraulic tools to cut the driver free. Thankfully, he was not injured in the incident. 

“We’re just lucky that [he] was in a dump truck and not a regular passenger vehicle due to the size of that tree,” said Renshaw.

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