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ACCIDENTS DESTROY ROAD PAVER, DAMAGE STREET SWEEPER

The week got off to a bad start Monday for public employees in two separate accidents that destroyed a road paver and damaged a street sweeper.

Two Chautauqua County workers jumped clear of the paver just before it was struck by a train at the Middle Road crossing shortly before 9 a.m., Chautauqua County sheriff's deputies said.

In the other accident, a Village of Fredonia worker was pinned underneath the overturned street sweeper shortly after noon, authorities said. Dan Raynor of Dunkirk was freed by rescue crews after about 15 minutes, according to authorities, who said he was treated in Brooks Memorial Hospital for leg injuries and released.

The three-wheeled street sweeper was traveling on Prospect Street when the brakes failed at intersection with Main Street, according to Police Chief Bradley Meyers. Dan Raynor, 39, tried to turn the vehicle quickly, but the rear wheel snapped off and the sweeper landed on its side, Meyers said.

In the paver-train accident, Ronald Arnold, 47, of Hamlet was driving the machine across the Norfolk Southern tracks when the crossing gate came down behind it, deputies said.

Arnold and the other worker, Robert Bannister, 54, of Forestville, tried to speed up the blacktop machine, but it stalled on the tracks, according to deputies.

The two jumped clear shortly before an eastbound train came through the grade crossing, deputies said. The engine, hauling 49 cars, pushed the paver 750 feet down the tracks, deputies said.

The tracks were closed for about six hours while the County's Environmental Health Department cleaned up a fuel spill from the crash.

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