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10/9/2013
Train strikes flatbed hung up on tracks in Midland, Texas
By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor

A flatbed truck hauling pipes became stuck on railroad tracks in Midland, Texas, and was struck by a train on Wednesday, Oct. 9. Midland has been the site of some high-profile crashes in the past year, including a crash in June that killed a truck driver, and a crash in November 2012 that left four dead when a truck was struck during a parade for wounded veterans.

CBS affiliate KOSA in West Texas posted a video of the latest crash on its website. Fortunately no one was injured.

KOSA reported that Drew Peters with the Midland Fire Battalion said the truck became stuck on the tracks at E. Highway 80 near E. Loop 250 where it was struck by a Union Pacific train.

At press time, law enforcement and the railroad were investigating. The trucker’s identity was not immediately available.

Midland has numerous crossing sites, and at least three have had train-truck collisions in the past 11 months.

On June 3 of this year, trucker Steven Baker, 53, of Riverside, Calif., was killed when a Union Pacific train struck his truck at the Fairgrounds Road crossing. A spokeswoman for Union Pacific said at the time that the truck was stopped at the crossing for 22 seconds prior to the collision, but the reason for the trucker’s stoppage on the tracks was not known.

On Nov. 15, 2012, a trucker hauling a flatbed trailer and carrying 24 passengers in a parade honoring wounded military veterans was struck by a Union Pacific train. Four passengers were killed in that crash.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board said both the train operator and the truck driver in the parade float crash had not picked up on numerous warning signs prior to the tragedy. In its final report released in May, the NTSB openly questioned whether Union Pacific knew about the parade in advance or if the parade organizers had secured the proper permits.

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