SPRING, TX (KTRK) --A decision to pause on train tracks in Spring this afternoon had near-fatal consequences for a pair of men in their work truck.
"The [crossing] arm came down between our trailer and the truck," Antonio Ray Rodriguez recalled. "I got out and tried to raise the arm, but the train was coming too fast."
The train hit the front of the truck and demolished it, spinning it off the track and nearly into Rodriguez. The driver, his co-worker, was able to get out of the wreckage.
Liz Ruffino, the co-owner of Ruffino's Auto Repair a few yards away, heard the impact and ran to help. "I saw the driver sitting on the trailer in shock, looking like he had just been in a really bad accident," she recalled.
In other words -- looking like he had just been hit by a freight train.
The driver was taken to a hospital to be checked out. Rodriguez stayed at the scene. He works for his family's core sampling business, and the trailer, which wasn't damaged, contained equipment they use on the job.
Josh Ruffino's security camera recorded the collision. Moments prior to impact, traffic was travelling across the tracks. The light flashes for a few seconds, and then the cross arm comes down. It appears the truck driver tried to back up, then stopped.
"If he hadn't moved even that little bit, it might have been a worse outcome," said Ruffino.
Rodriguez agrees, and he also said it was a near-death experience for him. "I'm going to start going to church now," he said. And he meant it.