EXCLUSIVE: Witnesses Speak to NewsWest 9 About Saturday's Train Crash in Midland

Josh Navarro
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND- A big scare on the railroad tracks in Southeast Midland on Saturday as a train crashed into a truck sending the driver to the hospital. NewsWest 9 spoke exclusively to witnesses and the City of Midland regarding the crash.

A boom is what Patricia Hill said, who lives right across from where the crash happened off Carver and Industrial Avenue in Midland around 5:30 p.m. Saturday. The front of the truck was completely destroyed and the railroad crossing pole was bent over from the impact. Patricia and her brother ran out to help.

"We just stayed there and waited for the ambulance and just kept him alert," Hill said.

According to Midland authorities, the driver was traveling northbound on Carver, ran through the crossing arms and got stuck on the tracks.

"The driver was transported to Midland Memorial Hospital with minor injuries," City of Midland Spokesperson, Sara Higgins, said.

"He had an injury on his head as far as I could see and over his eyebrow," Hill said.

As bad as the truck may look, witnesses say the driver is blessed to be alive, however his troubles wouldn't end.

"The driver is Benjamin Oaks, he's 60 years old and he will be charged with driving while intoxicated," Higgins said.

Midland officials say the conductor of the train told them that the truck wouldn't move from the middle of the tracks and authorities will be reviewing video from the train, the crossing arms were engaged they say, but it's not the tale witnesses are telling.

"I didn't hear it, all I heard was the boom and then we heard the lights," Hill said.

"Then the lights went off because I was standing in the yard," Patricia's brother, David Chapman, said. "I seen everything that was going on after he got hit, then the lights started flashing and the ding ding ding came. It had happened already."

Even though the magnitude of Saturday's crash isn't compared to the one that happened two months ago involving Veterans, people around this neighborhood say this accident is still frightening.

"Seeing it firsthand today, it's devastating, it's scary," Hill said.

The Midland Police Department will now investigate.

"This is just like any other accident for the Midland Police Department. Someone was driving while intoxicated and there was a crash," Higgins said.

Blockades are currently at the railroad crossing. Front Street is open for through traffic but Carver is closed and expected to be open by Sunday morning.