An Amtrak train demolished a stranded tractor-trailer hauling multiple cars on Friday outside Thackerville, Oklahoma. The truck was unattended at the time of the crash, and five passengers of the reported 110 onboard suffered minor injuries and were transported to local hospitals, according to FOX25 and the Love County Fire Department that responded to the scene.
The train departed Fort Worth, Texas and was en route to Oklahoma City at 7 p.m. on Friday evening. The truck had become high centered on the tracks; the Love County Sheriff Office reported that its driver had been traveling with a dog, and they left the vehicle and got out of harm’s way prior to the collision.
The crash caused the front of the train to derail, rendering it immobile and damaging the track underneath it. School buses and Amtrak charter vehicles later arrived to move some passengers to hotels. Eventually, inspectors determined the still-functional rear of the train and its locomotive could be decoupled from the damaged and derailed portion, and that part of the train transported the remaining passengers back to Fort Worth. Thackerville is about 75 miles north of Fort Worth; the overall journey from Fort Worth to Oklahoma City is about 200 miles, or four hours via Amtrak.
The impact can be seen in the video above, captured from the camera of another driver. An individual — possibly the truck driver — can be seen waving their arms at the far side of the track as the train approaches, presumably trying to get the engineer’s attention. As the train nears, they run away.
The collision sends a van flying forward, sends what appears to be a second-generation Jeep Liberty toppling and decimates the vehicle carrier, while the semi truck looks to be somewhat intact, at least from our distant perspective. The individual who’d previously tried to flag down the train operator can then be seen running toward the wreck, audibly panicked.
It’s unclear how long the truck was stranded at the crossing prior to the crash. Should you ever find yourself in a vehicle beached on the tracks and you have enough time to get to safety, look for a blue sign containing an Emergency Notification System phone number affixed to one of the posts. Snap a picture of it if you can, as that number will connect you with a train dispatcher — then get the hell out of there. The same sign should contain a crossing ID number. Relay it to the dispatcher, and they’ll notify all approaching trains to stop.