(New Braunfels, Texas – October 17, 2014)
The combination of dangerous and unguarded crossings coupled with fast train speeds left a Texas trucker with his rig destroyed and, fortunately, only non-life threatening injuries Friday afternoon at about 3:30 P.M., CDT, at the crossing of Union Pacific rails and Krueger Canyon Road in New Braunfels, TX. The crash happened when the driver’s westbound 18-wheeler was hit by a southbound Union Pacific freight train.
The as-yet unidentified driver, hauling an empty cement trailer, did not have any advance warning of the oncoming train, one of a daily average of 16 Union Pacific, BNSF and Amtrak trains at a maximum timetable speed of 50 mph.
The crossing is not equipped with any active warning devices, such as lights and gates. It is virtually certain that if equipped with lights and gates this accident would not have happened. Both Union Pacific and Operation Lifesaver know 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%.
The truck tractor and trailer were knocked into a roadside drainage channel by the force of the train’s blow.