Tractor trailer strikes train in Masardis causing derailment 

2 weeks ago

A tractor trailer driver was injured when his vehicle struck two empty cars of a train in Masardis on Wednesday afternoon.

The crash happened at the intersection of Blackwater Road and Route 11 at about 1:30 p.m., according to Paul Merrill, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Transportation.

“A tractor trailer on Route 11 hit the train about 15 cars in,” Merrill said. “It struck two empty rail cars and knocked them off the track, so it derailed.”

The truck is owned by Bartlett Forest Products of Amity and operated by 26-year-old James Tapley of Monticello who was traveling southbound on Rte. 11 when the tractor-trailer struck a train that was crossing Rte. 11 at a railroad crossing, according to Maine State Police spokesperson Shannon Moss. It appears the tractor-trailer, which was hauling woodchips at the time, was unable to stop when it hit the train causing the train to derail. Tapley sustained serious injuries and was transported via Ashland Ambulance to Northern Light Hospital in Presque Isle. Tapley had a dog in the vehicle at the time which was transported to a local veterinarian for treatment. The operator of the train was not injured.

It’s the second derailment in a week for the area around Ashland. Last week a minor derailment occurred at the intersection of Route 11 and Sheridan Road. Wednesday’s crash is about 9 1/2 miles from that site.

DOT workers on site closed Route 11 and arranged a traffic detour. 

Route 11 was still closed as of 4:15 p.m. as personnel awaited the arrival of a crane to help lift the displaced cars back on the track, Merrill said.

Route 11 reopened to traffic Thursday morning.

The tractor trailer was carrying wood chips and was destroyed. The train was operated by Maine Northern Railway.  

This story was updated with information about the driver of the tractor trailer and the route number.