No Injuries Reported
Being trapped on an operating railroad is possibly one of the most undesirable scenarios for any driver. The immense size and weight of a train necessitates that they require hundreds of feet to approach a full stoppage — which causes a huge danger to anything it may be headed straight towards. Two videos recently surfaced showing the destructive power of a locomotive, as it encounters a semi-truck carrying a wheel loader.
The locomotive collided into the Caterpillar tractor with incredible force, nearly sending it onto the adjacent road. The loader impacted the railroad crossing arm apparatus, resulting in dirt and shrapnel flying everywhere. This incident occurred on Wednesday, October 4th around 12pm near Redding, California.
A 25-year-old truck driver from Washington State attempted to traverse the intersection of SR-273 and Breslauer Way when his embarrassingly low-ride trailer got wedged on the tracks. Despite his best efforts to unstick it, he could not complete the task in time. As disclosed in a Redding Police news release available on Facebook, the obstruction was only reluctantly blocked for a short period of time, with nobody getting around to notifying Union Pacific about the debacle.
The train unfortunately failed to decelerate or halt in time and collided with the lorry. The police reported substantial damage to the railroad barriers and electrical wiring, requiring a closure of the crossing. Happily, no persons on the train or nearby suffered any injuries, though it was not specified if the truck driver received any citation for the mishap.
According to the US Federal Railroad Administration, the occurrences of highway-rail incidents, or accidents involving motor vehicles/pedestrians and trains, had been on the rise until 2019. Nevertheless, in 2020 amid the global pandemic the figure nosedived to below 2,000 collisions. The downward trend has continued into 2021, with the total number of crashed slashing almost in half – 812 – during the year of current available inputs. It is also noteworthy that traffic casualties have lessened across the board.
This is set to be the 7th mishap at the crossing since 1976, per FRA details. The most recent was in 2019, when a 68-year-old pedestrian was hit by a train. The preceding car-train crash had been back in 1999.
Attempting to beat or skirt a train at a railroad crossing is never wise. If you do end up becoming inexorably wedged onto the rails, get out of your vehicle straight away and move off in the opposite direction. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration prescribes that you walk diagonally from the tracks and away from the approaching locomotive. Once clear of danger, dial the emergency number close to the switch, as well as alert the police.
Sources: ViralHog / YouTube, Redding Police Department