New York Daily News
Trucker dies in collision with train in Texas
An 18-wheeler collided with a train near Houston early Monday, killing the truck’s driver and derailing about 15 train cars, officials said.
The crash occurred shortly before 7:30 a.m. local time along Highway 59 near Splendora, Texas, where the driver was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.
“We had a southbound Union Pacific train headed down the tracks and we had an 18-wheeler attempt to cross the tracks,” Splendora Police Chief Wally Wieghat said at a news conference. “It’s a yield intersection for the railroad tracks, so there’s no guard on.”
Officials identified the truck driver as a white male but have not released his name. The 18-wheeler crossed in front of the train, according to Wieghat, who said the driver “apparently ... did not see the train coming” before his vehicle was struck broadside.
“He was thrown from the cab of the truck,” Wieghat said. “The 18-wheeler was [dragged] probably a half mile down the tracks.”
No one on the train was injured, according to Wieghat. He said none of the train cars were believed to be leaking hazardous material, but the diesel fuel that spilled from the truck’s tanks would require cleanup.
Hazmat officials responded to the scene and began monitoring air quality.
The derailed cars don’t pose a risk to the public, the East Montgomery County Fire Department said. Images shared by the department show several train cars off the rails.
Federal and state authorities also responded to the scene, as did the Union Pacific railroad company, police said. Part of Highway 59 could remain closed for 15 hours, officials said.
Montgomery County is part of the Houston, Woodlands and Sugar Land metropolitan area in southeast Texas. Splendora is about 40 miles north of Houston.
Monday’s incident occurred a little over a week after 50 train cars derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, causing a massive fire and prompting thousands of residents to evacuate. The National Transportation Safety Board said 10 of the derailed cars were carrying hazardous materials. The evacuation order was lifted last week.