Brockport man escapes injury after pulling in front of train in Hulberton

Posted 19 May 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos courtesy of Jimmie Jo Neary – A pickup truck driven by Lee D. Sietmann is on fire after a collision with a train this morning in Hulberton.

Press release, Orleans County Sheriff Scott Hess

HULBERTON – A Brockport man escaped serious injury this morning when the pickup truck he was driving struck a moving train in the town of Murray.

The incident occurred at about 10:15 a.m. in the 3600 block of Hulberton Road at intersection with the Falls Railroad.

Lee D. Sietmann, 24, was the sole occupant of a 1998 Chevrolet S-10 pickup. He was traveling south on Hulberton Road, when the vehicle struck the west bound 3-car freight train, operated by Genesee Valley Transportation Co., Inc., of Batavia.

The train was already on the “at-grade” crossing when the collision occurred.  Upon striking the locomotive, the impact spun the truck into one of the crossing warning-light poles after which the truck struck the train a second time, before coming to rest on the north/west corner of the crossing.

Sietmann was able to escape the vehicle before it burst into flames and was totally consumed by fire. He was transported as a precautionary measure by Holley Volunteer Ambulance to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

The train travelled approximately 50 yards west of the crossing before stopping.  The engineer is identified as Neal D. Keirn, 56, of Middleport in Niagara County.  The conductor is identified as Lawrence X. Zablonski, 49, of Lackawanna in Erie County.

They were the only individuals on board at the time of collision and neither was injured. The two freight cars each contained about 130 tons of fertilizer. Neither one of the cars/contents was compromised.

The on-scene investigation was conducted by Deputy A.L. Jenks, assisted by Deputy E.N. Fuller, Sergeant D.W. Covis, and Chief Deputy T.L. Drennan.  Deputies were assisted by the Holley and FHM (Fancher-Hulberton-Murray) Fire Departments and Monroe Ambulance.  Representatives of Genesee Valley Transportation and the Falls Railroad were also on-scene.

The investigation will continue in an effort to determine what factors contributed to the crash. Charges against Lee Sietmann are pending.