A train struck a vehicle on the tracks Thursday night, causing a derailment and power outage in Swanton. At approximately 10:17 p.m., a train traveling west, struck a Chevy Tahoe that had been abandoned on the tracks west of the Main Street.
As a result, 13 train cars derailed between Main Street and Munson Road, some of which were dangerously close to homes along the tracks. Residents in the immediate area were evacuated due to the possibility of a gas explosion. The evacuation order was lifted overnight.
Power was lost throughout most of the Swanton area. Over 4,000 customers were without power at midnight. It was restored to nearly all customers by Friday morning.
In addition to the Tahoe and the train, Three other parked and empty passenger cars were struck by debris after the initial crash.
No injuries were reported in this crash. Cleanup is expected to last until at least the end of the day Friday. Cars are being moved to the practice football field off of Dodge Street, according to village officials.
There is no water boil advisory for the village.
Josh Kohlhofer, a 2018 Swanton High School graduate and Bowling Green State University student, and two other Swanton residents – McKenzie Warne and Dustin Sego – were driving down Main Street when they saw the vehicle stuck on the tracks and got out to help the driver. She appeared intoxicated according to Kohlhofer, who pulled her out of her car right before the train collided with it.
He said the driver was young; she looked about 18 or 19. She fled the scene immediately and started heading north on Main Street.
Both Main Street and Munson Road remained closed near the tracks. The area near Dodge and Ivy streets should also be avoided.