A train collided with a wind turbine blade on Sunday afternoon in South Texas, after the truck carrying the turbine blade failed to clear the tracks on time at a railroad crossing. Local news, KXAN, reports there were no serious injuries in the collision. That turbine blade doesn’t look like it’s going to make it, though. And the truck didn’t fare well, either. The train did sustain some damage and some of its crew members were taken to the hospital, per KEYE news.
The accident happened in Luling, Texas, which is about 58 miles east of San Antonio. According to the NEWS4SA, the intersection is “the first exit to Luling off of U.S. 183,” and locals know it as a dangerous crossing. That same report says that the truck was one of a few tractor trailers carrying the same cargo earlier in the day. Here is one view of the crash, from Double Spur Ranch on YT:
KXAN claims the railroad crossing arms were not down when the truck attempted to cross the tracks. That turbine blade is not exactly an easy payload to transport and any turns would be difficult to negotiate with that thing. A turn that involves a train crossing is just another level of NOPE if there’s any uncertainty. The same report has an alternate angle of the accident, recorded from an adjacent gas station.
Wind turbine blades are more or less a common sight on Texas highways because there’s a lot of wind farms here. The Lone Star State is a (mostly) flat and massive expanse of land, well suited for this particular renewable energy source.
The roads in Texas are a mix of long, wide highways, complex interchanges in places like Dallas or Houston and old, narrow(ish) surface roads in places like Hill Country. You’ll be driving at high speeds on the interstate one minute, and the next, you’re crawling through oil refinery towns. Luling is one such town. I’m a little surprised that Kenworth truck didn’t have more escort cars, especially as it made its way through surface roads.