(Goodwell, Oklahoma – March 12, 2012)
The 47-year-old driver of an 18 wheeler was seriously injured Monday afternoon about 1:45 P.M. when his semi collided with a Union Pacific freight train at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of Texas County Road 17 and UPRR tracks two miles west of Goodwell, OK.
Fidel Mendoza Holquin of Cactus, TX was driving his 2004 Peterbuilt south on CR17 when his rig was struck by the train at what is listed as and treated by UPRR as a private crossing (which does not require trains to sound a warning blast on their whistles as they approach grade crossings), knocking his truck off to the right side of the road and rolling the wreckage a quarter of a mile before it came to rest.
There are no markings at the Texas County Road 17 crossing of UPRR tracks, meaning that not only does the crossing lack any automatic protection like flashing lights, bells or gates, but has neither standard railroad crossbuck or highway stop signs to indicate it is a railroad crossing.
The victim, whom the Oklahoma Highway Patrol charged was at fault in the accident due to “failing to observe the train,” was first taken to Memorial Hospital of Texas County in Guymon, OK before being airlifted to a hospital in Amarillo, TX for treatment of internal injuries.