Van Barrels Off Bridge, Blocks SEPTA Tracks for Hours

Crews use a crane to pull van off SEPTA tracks. The crash caused problems on SEPTA's Elwyn Regional Rail Line.

What to Know

  • A van and a sedan collided at South 49th Street and Kingsessing Avenue Tuesday morning, sending the van off a bridge and onto SEPTA tracks.
  • Crews lifted the van off the tracks using a crane. It had caused trouble on SEPTA's Elwyn Regional Rail Line for hours.
  • The van driver along with the car driver and her teenage passenger were hurt in the crash.

A collision in Southwest Philadelphia Tuesday morning sent a van barreling down onto SEPTA tracks, causing Regional Rail and trolley problems that lasted for hours.

The Nissan van collided with a Hyundai Sonata at South 49th Street and Kingsessing Avenue in the Kingsessing neighborhood around 7:30 a.m., Philadelphia police said. The van crashed through a bridge fence and off the side of the bridge, plunging onto the tracks below. Its hazard lights flashed and windshield wipers moved after coming to a rest next to the rail.

"It was like slow motion, boom! It went straight down," said Martin Reid, who was driving behind the van at the time of the crash.

It will take a crane to remove a van that crashed in Southwest Philadelphia Tuesday morning. The van wound up plunging off a bridge and onto SEPTA’s Elwyn Regional Rail tracks.

The van driver got out of the van dazed with a bloody head injury, witnesses said. He even walked partly up the embankment before rescuers got to him. He was hospitalized in stable condition, police said.

The woman driving the sedan and her 13-year-old son were also hospitalized with undisclosed injuries, police said.

SEPTA suspended outbound service on its Media/Elwyn line and warned inbound passengers to expect delays up to 30 minutes. The route 11 and 36 trolleys were also being diverted as crews worked at the scene.

A crane was brought in to lift the van off the tracks around 10 a.m. Service was restored around 10:30 a.m. but SEPTA warned of residual delays.

No official word yet on what caused the wreck. The van driver said it appeared the woman in the sedan ran a red light before crashing into his fan. She was hysterical following the crash, witnesses said.

The van driver was working for Southwest Nu-Stop, a drug, alcohol and mental health recovery and education center. The company didn't immediately have a comment about the crash.

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