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Home / News & Reviews / News Wire / Trucker with Monon 50 on board says pilot car took a wrong turn NEWSWIRE

Trucker with Monon 50 on board says pilot car took a wrong turn NEWSWIRE

By Kim Heusel | December 19, 2018

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Monon No. 50 after striking a bridge in Indiana.
Don Nickel
LOGANSPORT, Ind. — The trucker who was driving when Monon SW1 No. 50 struck a bridge says a misrouting and a pilot car that failed to call him when its over height pole contacted the bridge led to the incident last week that sheared off the cab of the 1942 vintage unit that was the railroad’s first diesel.

“We were within our legal rights to be there,” says truck driver Tom Schumann of STS LLC, the heavy-haul trucking company. “The company that did the route survey got us on the wrong road. We should have gone a mile farther to the west. The front escort vehicle’s high pole should have hit the bridge, but he (the escort driver) apparently didn’t see it.”

The Cass County, Ind., Sheriff’s Office corrected an earlier report that said the truck struck a Norfolk Southern bridge. A sheriff’s spokesman said the accident occurred at Burlington Avenue (state Road 25) and Monticello Road.

Schumann says the company had the necessary permits to move the privately owned engine from Noblesville, Ind., to Logansport, where the Indiana Transportation Museum is relocating. He said the company moved 12 other pieces out of the museum previously. The company has moved more than 100 pieces of railroad items in the past. This is the first incident like this for the company.

“The bottom line, is when you do something like this it’s kind of a team effort, and we dropped the ball,” says Schumann, who was a Chicago & North Western engineer 20 years ago. “We’ve moved a lot bigger pieces than this locomotive, and pieces that were a lot taller.”

STS has the support of others in the railway preservation field.

“They are in my opinion, one of the best trucking firms in the business when it comes to roll-on, roll-off equipment moves,” says Brett Goertemoeller of BMG Railroad Contractors. “In all of our interactions, the staff were courteous and very professional. We had no issues with any of the moves, and were very impressed with the way in which they did all of their due diligence in terms of routing and permitting the move.”

A source from the Monon Historical Society board says that McHugh Brothers in Chicago will do the repairs and have quoted a price of $75,000, which includes transportation both ways. It is hoped that insurance will cover this cost.

8 thoughts on “Trucker with Monon 50 on board says pilot car took a wrong turn NEWSWIRE

  1. Good to hear that something is working out to the benefit of ITM. Looks like the escort company’s insurance will take the hit, not the trucking firm.

  2. Bet you the underpass was clearly marked. The truck driver blamed the pilot car, but this was really the truck driver’s fault for not paying attention. Another example of depending on others for information and not paying attention.

  3. Actually, the underpass was marked but the placement of the signage does not appear to comply with the MUTCD standard-the advance warning sign may have been placed too far in advance. Also, the reflectorized marking sign was posted to the right of the road, not on the bridge. That might have contributed to the driver not visually spotting the bridge-the bridge did not have any reflective material. I don’t remember what time the accident occurred-if it was during darkness, that could explain what happened.

    Anyways, who’s at fault is for the pilot car company’s insurance and the trucking line’s insurance to deal with.

  4. It is still the truckers fault! He was supposed to have been watching from his vantage point and stopped BEFORE hitting the bridge!! I have seen other heavy haulers stop and call out a problem, like not enough clearance under a bridge, and they work out the solutions for it. Dang, common sense and simple observance lacks these days in the trucking world.

  5. Mistake was the responsibility of the pilot car company-failed to follow the predetermined route. Accidents happen-that’s what insurance is for.

  6. The DS-50 is owed by a private person and is on loan or lease to ITM. It is not owed by the Monon Railroad Historical – Technical Society. The “source” sited did not get that information from the board of Directors because the Board does not know that. As far as the Board is concerned this is gossip, and may or may not be true. But it did not come from the Board. I have been in charge of all moving of MRHTS owed rolling stock since 2011 and can I can say with certainty other than real sorrow for the mover and owner we have nothing to do with this.
    Since this happened I have been responding to inquiries constantly asking for information which which we do not have. Because we have nothing to do with this asset or the moving of it.

  7. I can’t resist…. maybe PTC (Positive Truck Control) could’ve spotted and prevented this md automatically brought the truck to a stop on a penalty brake application.

  8. This was not an ‘accident’. This was pure failure of the escort car (who was probably not taking his job/responsibilities seriously) as well as the truck driver, who should have known how high/wide his load is and monitor EACH bridge as he approaches it.

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