Trucker 593 Dcow Train

Dash Cam of the Week: Train wreck

March 4, 2016
Rail-grade crossings 101: the bells and whistles are there for a reason

It’s not often that a truck driver pulls in front of a train and lives to cuss about catching a locomotive with the driver's side of his cab, but that’s what happens in this installment of Dash Cam of Week.

The video comes courtesy of the Minnesota Dept. of Public Safety and the trooper who happened to be behind the bulk hauler at a railroad crossing after a truck inspection.

The trooper is chilling to a little classic rock (“Come Dancing” by the Kinks, coincidentally) as the truck pulls onto the road from the shoulder. The crossing lights are flashing and bells ringing as a four-wheeler turns ahead. The trucker then pulls ahead as the train's horn blasts.

The trooper mutters an expletive (edited) as the train strikes the truck cab. He calls for medical assistance and races down the snowy access road next to the track, catching up as the train and truck come to a stop. The trooper is amazed to find the truck driver apparently unhurt, still behind the wheel.

The trucker is saved by the acute angle at which the road crosses the track. The glancing blow results in the train dragging the truck in a parallel path.

As he explains to the trooper in some colorful language, the driver was mindlessly following the four-wheeler ahead of him. (Although, and we’re guessing here, he might have been thinking about being pulled over for that inspection.)

“I can’t (edited) believe this! Can you (edited) believe this?!” the driver says.

The driver and the trooper then have a disagreement—in that very, very nice upper-Midwesterner way—about whether the driver should get medical attention.

"I saw the whole thing, and I'm scared for you," the officer says.

Operation Lifesaver, an organization formed to educate the public on rail crossing safety, offers these tips for truck drivers as well as a “pro driver” challenge.

This brief video also provides tips on what a trucker should do if he’s stuck or stalled at a crossing:

About the Author

Kevin Jones | Editor

Kevin has served as editor-in-chief of Trailer/Body Builders magazine since 2017—just the third editor in the magazine’s 60 years. He is also editorial director for Endeavor Business Media’s Commercial Vehicle group, which includes FleetOwner, Bulk Transporter, Refrigerated Transporter, American Trucker, and Fleet Maintenance magazines and websites.

Working from Little Rock, Kevin has covered trucking and manufacturing for 15 years. His writing and commentary about the trucking industry and, previously, business and government, has been recognized with numerous state, regional, and national journalism awards.

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