Captured On Camera: Commuter Train Crashes into FedEx Cargo Truckby Jana Ritter - Published: 1/25/2017
A speeding commuter train, a crossing semi-truck, a snowstorm and technical error all combined to create a heart-stopping collision at a railroad crossing in Utah on Saturday. Miraculously, everyone survived the incident and while the exact cause of the crash is still under investigation, a dash cam video happened to capture how it all went down. (Watch the video below.)
The crash occurred on Saturday morning during a snowstorm in North Salt Lake, Utah. The dash cam video released by North Salt Lake Police on Tuesday, shows the near fatal moment when the FedEx semi-trailer was moving through the seemingly clear railroad intersection and suddenly a Utah Transit Authority FrontRunner train smashed into the truck’s first trailer, slicing it in half. The crash sent the cardboard boxes from inside the trailer flying into the snowy air, but fortunately the train completely missed the truck’s cab where the truck driver and a passenger were seated. In fact, both men and all 82 train passengers managed to survive the crash without any serious injuries at all.
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"The first trailer behind the semi was pretty much cut in half by the train. They quickly assessed the drivers, who were uninjured, and then we had crews get on the train and start evaluating passengers," said Chief Jeff Barrett of the South Davis Metro Fire Department.
Utah Transit Authority spokesman, Remi Barron, later confirmed in a media statement that the crossing gates weren't working properly, nor were the flashing lights or warning bells. While the agency was continuing to investigate exactly why the railroad crossing was disabled, Barron said the cold and ice accumulated earlier that day had forced the arms down into a safety default mode before they popped back up. He also said that the crossing gates were operating properly previously and should not have gone up with a train approaching. He said it was less than a minute after the gates rose that the collision occurred. He also said the agency has not ruled out human error and was examining data from the crash site and also interviewing the crew members, who are currently on administrative leave.
"In the event of a power outage or lack of signal, crossing gates are programmed to default to the 'down and active' position as a safety precaution," the agency's media statement said. "Preliminary information indicates the gates were affected by the severe ice and snow conditions at the time and were in the default 'down and active' position, as they are programmed. The agency has never had an accident like this before, and UTA is investigating why and how it happened to ensure it doesn't occur again.”
After going through such a frightening ordeal, it’s a good thing the truck driver isn’t going to be found at fault for the incident and so far it looks like he’ll be keeping his job with FedEx as well. "We are aware of the incident in Salt Lake City and are grateful that no one was seriously injured. We worked with authorities during their investigation to quickly clean up the scene and minimize the impact on customers," a FedEx spokeswoman told the media.