Malfunctioning Railroad Crossing Gate Hits Ohio EMS Unit, Injures Firefighter

A Springfield firefighter was injured after a malfunctioning railroad crossing gate smashed into the windshield of an EMS unit.


A Springfield firefighter was injured after a malfunctioning railroad crossing gate smashed into the windshield of an EMS unit on Aug. 5.

Fire Chief Mike Beers said the gate near James Street and Lagonda Avenue struck the unit with a "jousting" motion, hitting Lt. Sean Scaglia in the head around noon.

Scaglia -- who was a passenger in the vehicle -- suffered a small hematoma and a laceration to his head. He was transported to the hospital for treatment and was released and is expected to be at work soon after a follow-up appointment by a doctor, according to Beers.

There were no other injuries in the incident.

He said the position of the railroad crossing, which sits diagonal to the road, played a role in the incident.

"Their thought was to move out of the intersection and as they were turning left and the windshield was looking right into the crossing gate."

The gate has been reportedly activating randomly throughout the day, despite no trains approaching the crossing.

"This is a typical route for us," Beers said. "Repairs have been made to the gate and its back in operation. Hopefully we don't have any other problems with it in the future."

The EMS unit is currently in the department's fleet maintenance facility where it is being repaired.