Tonawanda News — A tractor-trailer driver hit the CSX Young Street train bridge Thursday night, marking the first incident of its kind since June, according to City of Tonawanda police.
The driver, Erkin Khidoyator, told authorities he didn’t see the multiple signs warning him that his 13-foot-high vehicle would not fit under the 11-foot-three-inch clearing beneath the bridge — a frequent explanation following such crashes.
Khidoyator, 63, of North York, Ontario, hit the bridge at about 10:10 p.m while driving southbound on Young.
“It totally destroyed the tractor tailer by ripping off the roof and the rear doors,” the police report states.
Lt. Fredric Foels said Khidoyator, employed by Skyway Transport based in Mississauga, was carrying compressed, bundled paper products.
Authorities had to empty the tractor trailer of its contents before removing the wreckage, and the street near the scene was closed until 12:30 a.m., Foels said.
Khidoyator was issued a traffic summons for failing to obey a traffic device, and no injuries were reported.
It’s been a while since a driver mistakenly attempted to fit his truck under the bridge, Foels said, with the most recent one occurring in June 2012, and only one other similar incident in the year.
But in 2011, there were eight, and in the last decade, the figure reaches to over 30.
Foels said about three times the number of required signs are posted before the bridge, and there is also a glowing stripe painted along the bottom edge of the bridge. Nevertheless, after many of the crashes, drivers have said they just didn’t see the signs, or were following their GPS system’s guidance and just keep on going.