(Corpus Christi, Texas – April 26, 2023)
A local semi-truck driver was killed Wednesday by a Union Pacific freight train at the dangerous and unguarded crossing just north of Highway 77 in Refugio County, Texas. According to reports, the truck driver was ejected from the cab of his truck and passed away at the scene.
The crossing where this collision occurred is categorized by Union Pacific as a private crossing. Union Pacific does not consistently require their train crews to blow the train horn for private crossings in the same manner that it does for public crossings. Therefore, it is unclear whether or not the semi-truck driver received any timely audible warning of the trains approach prior to impact.
The crossing is also not protected by any active warning devices. According to Union Pacific submitted records, the crossing accommodates an average of eighteen trains per day at typical speeds of 49 miles per hour. The crossing has also been the site of two prior wrecks. It is virtually certain that the addition of lights and gates could have prevented this tragedy. 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 collisions by as much as 96%.
Refugio County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating this wreck.