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Railroad Blames Mover

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  • Ronald Dawson
    DepotNews.com NewsWire Railroad Blames Mover Source: The Columbian Publication date: 2000-12-28 TACOMA (AP) A driver moving a house that was struck by an
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 28, 2000
      DepotNews.com NewsWire

      Railroad Blames Mover
      Source: The Columbian
      Publication date: 2000-12-28


      TACOMA (AP) A driver moving a house that was struck by an unscheduled train
      Saturday night never told the railroad he would be moving it across the
      tracks, a railroad spokesman says.
      It was the driver's responsibility to notify the railroad, which would have
      stopped any trains until the house cleared the tracks, Burlington Northern
      Santa Fe spokesman Gus Melonas said Tuesday.

      "We were not notified," Melonas said. "Obviously, trains can't stop. They
      can't swerve."

      It was unclear whether the driver, Jeffrey Douglas Ponder, 45, of Auburn,
      would have been informed that he should notify the railroad or check for
      unscheduled trains.

      Ponder, who owns Emerald City Building Restoration, says he has been moving
      houses around the area for 20 years and was doing everything by the book,
      including securing 12 permits for the move from assorted jurisdictions.

      He also says he has moved houses across tracks before and never advised the
      railroad.

      A Pierce County deputy in a car was escorting the rig, but was at the next
      intersection and did not see the collision, sheriff's department spokesman
      Ed Troyer said.

      Ponder was being investigated for driving with alcohol in his system the
      state has a zero-tolerance policy for commercial drivers and driving with a
      suspended license, Washington State Patrol Lt. Dan Eikum said Wednesday. A
      patrol dispatcher initially had said he had been cited, but no charges have
      been filed.

      "We're still figuring out who did what when," Eikum said.

      The case eventually will be forwarded to Pierce County prosecutors, he said.

      Publication date: 2000-12-28
      © 2000, YellowBrix, Inc.
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