Near Deadly Train/Truck Crash Caught on Camera

by Jana Ritter - Published: 5/27/2014

It has all the elements of a Hollywood action flick, but what motorists happened to catch on their cell phone while waiting at the train tracks on Sunday afternoon – was all too real. A train carrying military tanks and supplies plowed right through an 18-wheeler Mack truck.

Train wreck

On Sunday afternoon, a semi-truck near Chowchilla, California, became stranded in the worst possible location: directly on the train tracks. With the train unable to stop, and the truck unable to move, motorist Tee Sae caught the entire crash on his cellphone camera. The truck, which had become stranded on the tracks, was carrying a trailer full of boxes of trail mix. The driver had evacuated his vehicle once he realized it was stuck and walked down the tracks, frantically waving his arms in an attempt to signal the oncoming train

The motorist, who was waiting in his vehicle at the Vista Avenue railroad tracks, noticed the stranded truck and began to film the events on his cellphone after realizing that the train was fast approaching. Terrifying footage shows the moment a mile-long train carrying military vehicles crashed into the stranded semi truck stranded on the tracks. Other drivers waiting at the Chowchilla, Calif., rail crossing also caught the dramatic smash on their cell phone cameras as well.

Two videos, filmed by Robert Thissen and Tee Sae, appear to show the truck stalling as it drives through the raised barriers. With the vehicle unable to be moved, the slats then start to come down. The driver jumps out and tries to warn the train’s conductor by waving his arms. But his warning comes too late and the oncoming locomotive soon slices his truck in two — scattering debris and its trail mix contents across the immediate area. The Union Pacific train was carrying hundreds of military vehicles, mostly Stryker armored personnel carriers, from Fort Lewis, Wash., to Fort Irwin, Calif., in the Mojave Desert.

Thissen, who was filming the train's unusual military load, was heard screaming, "Stop, dad, stop ... oh my God, we're going to die" as the drama unfurled. He later said that he feared for his life on seeing the impact. "Is the truck going to fly into traffic in front of us? Is the train going to derail? Is there going to be an explosion?" he said he asked himself.

"The truck was right in front of us, maybe another five or 10 seconds we would have been in this truck lane, we would have been destroyed, we would have been killed in this," he added.

To watch the video click the following link. (Warning graphic language)