Big Rig Collides With Train in Ector County, Locomotive Sent to - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Big Rig Collides With Train in Ector County, Locomotive Sent to Shop

By Alicia Neaves
NewsWest 9

ECTOR COUNTY - The driver and passenger of a big rig were taken to the hospital this afternoon after they collided with a train.

The impact was so severe, it also sent a locomotive to the shop for repairs.

Union Pacific Workers were trapped inside a train for a short time after they collided with an 18-wheeler shortly before 3:00 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

Union Pacific says the train was traveling West near mile marker 98 and Interstate 20 when a big rig crossed the tracks. The train missed the cab, but slammed right into the back of the semi which was carrying a full load of gravel. Debris from the 18-wheeler kept Union Pacific workers inside the train until it was cleared. Crews got out safely, and the driver and passenger of the truck were transported to the hospital and released shortly after.

"The train that was involved in the accident sustained serious damage, so that locomotive will actually get pulled off into the sighting so we can get it shipped back to one of our locomotive shops to be repaired," Media Director of Union Pacific, Jeff DeGraff, said.

Union Pacific says accidents involving trains in West Texas are easily preventable if drivers obey the warning signs.

"Unfortunately we're seeing many circumstances with a lot of the heavy vehicle traffic. The large trucks that are going through these intersections. A lot of them are in a hurry or crushed for time or for whatever reason, are not being safe or paying attention to the warning signs. Whether it's a stop sign, or the flashing gates, or what have you. They try to take a chance and beat the train and unfortunately they're not successful in it," DeGraff said.

After being out of operation for almost two hours, workers got the rail line back in action just before five o'clock Thursday evening.

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