Truck smashed between trains in Channelview

HOUSTON

Hundreds of trucks pass the railroad crossing at the intersection of Sheldon and Jacinto Port Road everyday. But investigators say on Tuesday morning, one driver was careless and tried to beat a train across the tracks.

It was a dangerous wreck that tied up traffic for several hours. A big rig and its tank were sandwiched between two trains.

"I think this guy wanted to get out. He'd been waiting in there for an hour, and he got caught right there," truck driver Josh Carrizal said.

Carrizal is among the eyewitnesses who saw the devastating crash. The accident happened at a railroad crossing just outside an industral chemical storage facility near the ship channel.

"There was a car right here that stopped him from clearing the tracks, and when that happened, the train PTRAH hit him," Carrizal said.

Investigators rushing to the scence initialy approached with serious caution. That's because this overturned 18-wheeler was hauling a chemical lubricant when the driver allegedly tried beating a Port Terminal Railroad Association Train.

"He's about a thousand feet out when he starts emergency brake application," Harris County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Nathan Douglas said.

Investigators say the train's impact pushed the 18-wheeler into a parked Union Pacific locomotive. The 18-wheeler's tank ruptured, causing 6,000 gallons of non-hazardous lubricant it was holding to spill.

"There is no injuries and no fatalities. The truck driver of the 18-wheeler has been cited for failure to yield right of way train," Douglas said.

Crews rushed in to move both trains and clean up all of the spilled lubricant.

Surprisingly no one was hurt.

A spokeswoman from Union Pacific is reminding drivers not to take the risk of trying to beat trains.

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