LULING, Texas (KXAN) — A semi truck carrying a wind turbine blade collided with a moving train in Luling Sunday afternoon, according to the Luling Police Department. Police said no injuries were reported.
A video shared with KXAN shows the train coming into picture and blaring its horn before making impact with the truck.
Police said the crossing arms weren’t down when the driver attempted to cross the track.
The ground-shaking collision quite literally rocked downtown Luling.
“It was so scary, because there are a lot of people right here in the market, and everything happened in seconds,” a witness of the crash said.
Luling Police responded. The chief said the truck driver with a Minnesota-based company called Northern Lights Specialized, LLC, was carrying a wind turbine over a crossing when it was hit by a Union Pacific train.
“According to the driver, it was about two-thirds over the track when it was struck by the train,” Bill Sala, Luling’s chief of police, said.
Crews spent hours cleaning up the mess well into Monday.
While the trucking company didn’t want to comment, Union Pacific said it complies with all federal and state requirements at the crossing.
But Sala said this isn’t the first time a heavy load truck and train collided.
“By Union Pacific statistics, this is the third most dangerous intersection in the Laredo district,” Sala said.
Federal railroad reports show there have been 13 accidents at the Magnolia Avenue and Pierce Street train crossing in the last several decades. Half of those crashes did involve truck trailers. Reports estimate about 12,800 vehicles cross through per day.
“Part of the problem is in our experience, the oversized loads that have been permitted have traveled west on 183 from I-10, to turn north on 183, to proceed toward Lockhart, and the oversized loads — especially the ones with the wind turbines — are unable to make that turn.”
There is proper signaling before the railroad track.
Neighbors, in the meantime, are still in shock, grateful that lives were spared.
“Thank god, we were so lucky,” a witness said.
Northern Lights hasn’t received any fines from the agency that oversees roadway safety in the past six years. In the company’s history, it has only had three crashes and three minor unsafe driving violations.
The accident on Sunday was the company’s first in Texas.