Railroad News

California Truck Driver Killed at Unguarded Union Pacific Crossing

(Castroville, California – September 25, 2019)

A driver of a flatbed truck loaded with packaging materials for an agricultural company was tragically killed Wednesday afternoon about 1:00 PM, PDT. The driver’s truck was struck and destroyed by a Union Pacific Railroad freight train at a dangerous and unguarded Union Pacific private rail crossing near Highway 183 and McFadden Road near Castroville, CA.

Although California Highway Patrol troopers investigating the collision initially would not name the victim pending notification of relatives. The Monterey County Coroner’s office later identified her as Isabel Montes, 50, of Marina, CA.

There were no active warning devices, such as lights and gates or any low-cost active warning device at the unguarded crossing where at least four daily Union Pacific freight and Amtrak passenger trains pass at a maximum allowable speed of 70 mph.   It is further unknown if the train sounded its horn on approach to this crossing, as Union Pacific rules do not require horns to be blown at private rail crossings.  The failure to blow horns at private crossings further increases the dangerousness of this crossing.

The UP train struck the truck and scattered debris down the tracks for several hundred feet before coming to a stop.

The truck, which was owned by the Tanimura & Antle Company, was thrown against a trackside picket fence with the driver still inside the detached truck cab.