(El Reno, Oklahoma – July 18, 2011)
A 61-year-old Tennessee truck driver hauling a load of bricks through unfamiliar territory Monday morning was struck and killed by a Union Pacific freight train hauling 100 empty coal hopper cars at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of UP Railroad tracks and South Choctaw Avenue near Union City, OK.
Jimmie Daniels, of Cookeville, TN, a driver for R. E. West Trucking Co., was headed for Austin, TX when he crossed the railroad tracks where “the train crossing has no warning lights or gates,” and is equipped solely with a pair of passive railroad crossbucks. Regardless, news media spokespersons continually referred to the crossbucks as “stop” signs, saying that the victim “failed to stop at the stop sign,” which did not exist.
The truck became fully engulfed in flames upon impact, and the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.