fb-pixel Skip to main content

MBTA commuter train crashes into pickup truck in Wakefield

A pickup truck drove around lowered gates at a railroad crossing on the Haverhill line Thursday morning and was struck by an inbound commuter rail train, MBTA officials said.

Nobody was injured on the train, said MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo.

The truck driver, a 76-year-old man, was taken by medical helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital. His injuries are believed to be non-life threatening, Sullivan said.

MBTA Transit Police did not identify the man, and were still investigating the crash in Wakefield Thursday night.

The truck was dragged between 100 and 150 yards after being hit by the train, which was traveling at approximately 30 miles per hour. The incident happened at the Broadway Street crossing between Wakefield and Greenwood stations at about 11:30 a.m., according to MBTA Transit Police Superintendent Richard Sullivan.


Sullivan said that witness interviews suggest the driver “intentionally went around the crossing gate arms in an attempt to beat the train.”

He added that Transit Police officers checked the crossing gate arms and found them to be fully operational, ruling out a mechanical failure.

“This incident should serve as a stark warning that those crossing gate arms are there for a reason,” Sullivan said.

“We implore everyone to wait until the arms come up and it is safe to proceed.”

David Swaebe, who was on the train at the time, said he felt a sudden jolt before the train’s lights and air conditioning went out.

“The conductor came through the car and told us the train had struck a pickup truck that had attempted to jump the crossing signal. We were able to see concerned pedestrians through the train windows,” Swaebe said. “It looked like we pushed the truck about 100 yards. The conductor told us the driver of the truck indicated that he was OK.”

A photo posted by Swaebe on social media showed a crushed truck at the front of the train.


Olivia Quintana can be reached at olivia.quintana@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @oliviasquintana.