(Pueblo, Colorado – March 12, 2015)
The driver of a semi-trailer truck suffered fractures to both of his legs Thursday afternoon at about 4:30 P.M., MDT when his 18-wheeler collided with a Burlington Northern Santa Fe oil tanker train at the dangerous and unguarded Union Pacific Railroad crossing of Lime Road and UPRR tracks in Pueblo County, CO, near the city of Pueblo.
The collision “sent the semi spinning” and resulted in the driver requiring the help of Pueblo firefighters who extricated him from the massive wreckage of the cab of his truck tractor.
According to KKTV Channel 11 in Pueblo, emergency workers said the trucker was “lucky to be alive,” and was transported to a nearby hospital by Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office paramedics for treatment of his numerous injuries. The as-yet unidentified truck driver was conscious and talking at the scene.
The crossing, which does not have any active warning devices, such as lights and gates, see an average of 20 UPRR and BNSF freight trains daily at a top allowable speed of 30 mph
It is virtually certain that if equipped with lights and gates this accident would not have happened. Union Pacific, BNSF and Operation Lifesaver all know that lights and gates are the most effective type of protection at railroad crossings. Studies that have been conducted over fifty years ago confirm that lights and gates offer the ability to drastically reduce the number of vehicle/train accidents by as much as 96%.