Railroad News

Texas Pickup Driver Killed by Amtrak Train at Dangerous, Unguarded Union Pacific Crossing

(Marion, Texas – August 2, 2019)

An as-yet unidentified man driving a black pickup truck was killed about 9:30 AM, CDT Friday morning when his vehicle was struck by Amtrak’s “Sunset Limited” passenger train. Law enforcement authorities withheld identification of the victim pending notification of next of kin.

The train, which runs from Los Angeles to New Orleans via San Antonio, was operating on Union Pacific tracks as it approached a dangerous and unguarded private road/rail crossing.  The crossing has been the site of two previous collisions.

There were 116 passengers aboard the Sunset Limited.  The train was operating in a corridor which permits the 20 daily Amtrak, Union Pacific and BNSF trains to travel at speeds up to 79 mph. Yet, media sources said “There are no crossing arms or barricades (or flashing lights) at the crossing due to it being private.”

Federal Railroad Administration grade crossing safety rules do not require the locomotive’s horn to be sounded at private crossings, even though witnesses claimed to hear a horn, but could not ascertain how far in advance of the crossing the warning was given.