For Amanda Terry’s video from the collision, you can view it on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/amandamichael.terry/videos/3054922841261105/
BY SARAH STEPHENS
Video and photo from resident Amanda Terry
First responders from multiple fire departments and Troopers with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency are on scene in the 2000 block of County Road 19, in Vida, Autauga County, after a dump truck collided with a passing train around noon today. According to Michael Carswell, with ALEA Public Information, the roadway will be closed up to the next 48 hours.
The road is shut down to through traffic as workers try to clear debris. According to witness and nearby resident Amanda Terry, the driver of the dump truck was able to walk away from the collision, which derailed a portion of the train. “I think he had some trauma, but it is a miracle he walked away,” she said.
Terry was walking out of her front door just as before the collision and shared what she saw with the Elmore/Autauga News.
“The train had passed through the crossing by about three cars going toward the gravel pit,” Terry said. “The truck had to have been doing 60 m.p.h. or more, and they can’t stop like a normal vehicle. He locked up his brakes but couldn’t stop and hit the train. The cab was completely crushed and caught fire.”
She said that Don Meeks Jr. was one of the first people there to help. She said that as of 2 p.m. there were at least three fire departments on scene as well as Troopers. “I saw Billingsley and White City fire departments for sure,” she said.
As soon as it happened Terry said she called 911.
“The guy in the truck was on the other side of the train tracks,” Terry said.
Terry said the railroad crossing is marked with signage, but does not have warning lights or a crossing bar to stop traffic. This isn’t the first time there have been issues at that crossing, she said.
“The last wreck there the guy had to be airlifted,” she said. “There is a sign on each side of the crossing letting people know to stop, but there are no lights. The train gives plenty of warning before it crosses. With the gravel pit right down the road, you have a lot of 18-wheelers and dump trucks that travel over that crossing.” Speed is an issue, she said, as vehicles often “fly through the crossing.”