Train crashes into dump truck stuck on railroad tracks in Spring, TX – Houston Truck Accident Lawyer
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SPRING, Texas — A dump truck driver is lucky to be alive after getting stuck on railroad tracks as a train approached in Spring Wednesday.
“Thank goodness everything stayed on the rails ’cause there were HAZMAT cars on that train,” said District Chief Chris vonWiesenthal of the Spring Fire Department, while watching the dashcam video.
VonWiesenthal responded to the scene Wednesday morning.
“This is nothing short of a miracle that people were not injured in this incident,” vonWiesenthal said.
He said the truck driver did the right thing by steering toward the shoulder to avoid colliding with another car and potentially pushing it onto the tracks.
“She was upset,” von Wiesenthal said. “That was her dump truck, and it’s her company, and she felt bad that it happened. She felt bad that she totaled out her dump truck but she was elated, like we all were, that nobody was injured.”
Maddy Nguyen and her husband saw the whole thing while sitting at a stoplight at Kuykendahl and Kuykendahl-Hufsmith.
Their dashcam was rolling when the dump truck driver lost control, skidded off the road and onto the railroad tracks.
The crossing bar was already down, the lights were flashing and the train was fast approaching.
“Oh my God, oh my God!” Maddy screamed as the train barreled toward the truck.
The driver jumped out just in the nick of time and he wasn’t hurt.
The chief said the conductor and engineer on board the train were “shaken up” but OK.
He also said Union Pacific’s hazmat team cleaned the tracks after finding no leaks or damage from the wreck then re-opened them to freight traffic.
The tracks are right across the street from the home of Douglas Underbrink, who says he was not surprised the incident happened because crashes are common.
“Look at how many marks are on that curb, and they just painted it not too long ago again,” Underbrink said.
KHOU left a voicemail message at a number registered to the truck and visited an address also listed but were not able to reach the owner.
Harris County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the crash.
According to Section 392.10 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, “the driver of a commercial motor vehicle specified in paragraphs (a) (1) through (6) of this section shall not cross a railroad track or tracks at grade unless he/she first: Stops the commercial motor vehicle within 50 feet of, and not closer than 15 feet to, the tracks; thereafter listens and looks in each direction along the tracks for an approaching train, and ascertains that no train is approaching. When it is safe to do so, the driver may drive the commercial motor vehicle across the tracks in a gear that permits the commercial motor vehicle to complete the crossing without a change of gears. The driver must not shift gears while crossing the tracks.”
Section 392.12 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations requires that “no driver of a commercial motor vehicle shall drive onto a highway-rail grade crossing without having sufficient space to drive completely through the crossing without stopping.”
The Texas Department of Transporation states that “in a collision with a train, you are 40 times more likely to be killed than if you were in a collision with another car. Therefore, we urge you to remember these tips while driving near railroad crossings:
- Reduce speed when approaching crossings and look both ways.
- Turn down your stereo and listen for a train.
- If red lights are flashing or if crossing arms have been lowered, stop.
- Never stop on the tracks. A train going 50 miles per hour needs a mile and a half to stop.
- Be sure all tracks are clear before crossing – there may be more than one set.
Texas law requires motorists to yield the right of way to trains. It is also against the law to cross tracks if a train is visible or to drive around gates that have been lowered at a railroad crossing. If the gates are down and no train is coming, the road is closed.”
Any motor vehicle carrying passengers for hire, school buses, and any vehicle carrying hazardous material must stop between 15 and 50 feet of all railroad crossings and then proceed when it is safe to do so.
If you or a loved one are injured in a Houston 18 wheeler wreck call Attorney Reshard Alexander – Big Rig Bull Texas Truck Accident Lawyer today for a free initial consultation. Call today: 713.766.3322 or toll-free at 1.800.688.7551.
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