It was a close call Tuesday morning for Phil Bischoff.
Bischoff was driving his combine on Williams Road on the way to Shearer Equipment in Monroeville when he failed to hear the train whistle while crossing between Ohio 547 and U.S. 20 in rural Monroeville.
While crossing the tracks, Bischoff's combine was clipped in the back by the train.
"He was pulling across the crossing and evidently was looking into the sun and didn't see the train," said Tom Beck, Huron River Joint Fire District chief. "The train caught the back of the combine and did significant damage to the combine.
"Fortunately, nobody was hurt. They were just shook up. No injuries and no leaks. Just damage.
"You're talking five or six more feet into the combine and it would have been a horrific accident."
Bischoff was cited for failure to yield. Joshua Rimmele, of Berlin Heights, was the engineer of the Wheeling & Lake Erie train.
"He (Bischoff) said when he looked to the east due to the sunlight and haze he did not see it," said Trooper Shawn Wiley of the patrol. "Luckily, nobody was hurt. The engineer said another foot and they would have cleared. They caught the last foot of the combine. They (the train) were going 40 mph (which is the posted limit).
"He almost made it across. Luckily, nobody got hurt. I have handled several car and train accidents but this was the first time with a combine."Beck said nine firefighters and two trucks responded from his department. Also on scene were the Ohio State highway Patrol, the Huron County Sheriff's Office, the Bellevue Fire Department with one truck and four men and North Central EMS.