(Barstow, Texas – August 3, 2014)
An Albuquerque, NM semi- truck driver employed by H&P Trucking Co. of Texas was seriously injured when he was hit by an eastbound Union Pacific freight train as he left the Barstow, TX public water well Sunday afternoon at about 3:00 P.M., CDT, with a full load of 40 tons of water. The driver was struck mid-truck by the train, one of a half dozen trains which cross there daily at a top allowable speed of 60 mph.
The driver was not identified, but was airlifted to an Odessa, TX hospital for treatment of critical injuries, while one of the railroad employees in the cab of the first locomotive complained of arm injuries, but was treated at the scene by EMT personnel.
“I really don’t know what exactly happened,” said H&P Trucking owner Cynthia Herrera, who arrived at the scene after being told of the accident. “I wish I did, but all I know is what we can see is a really bad accident and all I can say is prayers for our driver,” she told NewsWest 9 reporter Kim Powell.
The crash also caused three of the train’s four locomotives and 10 of its 93 cars to leave the rails and pile up near the crossing.
The railroad crossing was 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 could have been prevented. 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%