A distracted driver suffered minor injuries after slamming his car into a CSX freight train in Mansfield this afternoon, the Mansfield Fire Department said.
“Considering the possibilities, I think that this gentleman got out of his car with very minor injuries,” said Mansfield Fire Chief Neal A. Boldrighini. “His car was a relatively new car, and it had airbags all over the place, so he was really well protected.”
The man drove into the train, which was crossing Forbes Boulevard at low speed, around noon; emergency crews arrived shortly after, Boldrighini said. The street is part of an industrial area, and trains passing through are required to cross the road slowly; a flagman is also on site, he said.
The CSX train serves local businesses in Mansfield and Walpole by picking up and delivering train cars, said CSX spokesman Bob Sullivan.
Boldrighini was told by Mansfield police that the man admitted to using a cellphone while driving.
“We’ve seen some really horrific crashes because of cellphones,” said Boldrighini. “It is easy to become distracted by a cellphone.” Boldrighini said that if you must use your phone, pull off to the side of the road or use a wireless headset.
A medical helicopter was called for the driver, who was taken to Rhode Island Hospital for injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening. Emergency personnel had the area cleaned up by 1 p.m., Boldrighini said.
There were no injuries to the crew and little damage to the train cars, said Sullivan.
The freight train does not share tracks with any Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad or Amtrak lines, said MBCR spokesman Scott Farmelant.Sarah N. Mattero can be reached at email@example.com.