(Grand Bayou, Louisiana – July 26, 2011)
Two Union Pacific train crew members and the driver of an 18-wheeler were seriously injured about 2:30 P.M. Wednesday afternoon at the ungated crossing of UPRR tracks and U.S. Highway 84 in the community of Grand Bayou, LA.
The accident resulted not only in the complete destruction of the tractor/trailer, but also the derailment of the train’s three locomotives and nine freight cars. The railroad tracks emerge from an abrupt curve and a thick grove of trees as they approach the crossing, making oncoming trains difficult to see, even though the crossing is equipped with flashing lights.
The train’s engineer was airlifted to LSU Hospital, while the truck’s driver and an engineer trainee were both transported to the same medical facility via ambulance. Louisiana State Police and Union Pacific officials say it will take days to repair and re-open the U.S. 84/UPRR crossing.