Crash Involving Train and Truck On T&P Lane (Press Release)

by Traffic Division, Thursday, June 07, 2012, 02:00 (2449 days ago)

ABILENE, TX – This morning at about 5:20 am, Abilene Police Department Dispatch received notification from Union Pacific Railroad that one of their train engines had collided with a vehicle on the tracks while traveling east and that the train had stopped near the area of S. Judge Ely Boulevard. Both police and fire units were dispatched to the incident.

Officer Mack Garrett responded to the call and conducted a preliminary investigation. He discovered that a semi-­‐trailer being pulled by a flat-­‐bed truck tractor belonging to the Bandera Drilling Company had come dislodged from the truck while traveling northbound on T&P Lane as it began to drive over the train tracks near Sandy Street. The trailer then slid back out of the path of the tracks. The driver of the truck then attempted to reconnect the trailer by backing-­‐up his truck towards the trailer. In doing so, the truck was driven back over the train tracks. The driver was then faced with the reality of an oncoming train that had no warning of the hazard on the tracks. Initial information indicated the train was traveling at a reduced speed of approximately 30 miles per hour.

A crash resulted during the attempt to reconnect the trailer. The truck driver, the sole occupant, was in the truck cab at the time of the crash. The truck was pushed approximately 35 yards where it came to rest. Damage assessment to the train is pending, but there was damage to the exterior of the train engines and a few of the containers. Fire Department personnel were notified of a diesel fuel spill that amounted to approximately 100 to 200 gallons. This spill was a result of damage to the truck’s fuel tanks. Standard notifications to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency were made by Fire Department personnel.

Shortly before 9:00 am, the train was moved out of the path of T&P Lane.

The driver of the truck was identified as Mr. Joel Newberry, age 37. He sustained apparent injuries but was coherent and had walked back to the railroad crossing where he met with first responders. He was taken by ambulance to Hendrick Medical Center with non-­‐incapacitating injuries.

This investigation continues.

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