Train Hits Vehicle

Train Hits Vehicle at Tullos Crossing

train_wreck_1An Olla man was uninjured when a Union Pacific Railway train struck the vehicle he was driving. The incident occurred last Friday afternoon, August 16, 2013, in Tullos, according to Tullos Chief of Police Leland Guin.

Benjamin Talley, an employee with S. H. Loe Oil Corporation of Tullos, was traveling down West Mill Street in Tullos when he arrived at the Union Pacific railroad crossing, located behind Tullos First Baptist Church. As Talley approached the railroad crossing, he did not see or hear the approaching train until after he had driven his vehicle onto the tracks.

When Talley did see the train, he attempted to back his vehicle off the tracks. As he backed away, the train engine struck the front right side of the pickup ripping the front bumper and grill from the vehicle.

Talley was shaken but unhurt in the accident. He said the whole incident took about two seconds to unfold, but he learned a valuable lesson about crossing train tracks. It pays to take a few seconds and really look for a train, not just rely on the train’s whistle or the flashing lights/mechanical arms to alert you to an approaching train.

The crossing at this location is a “naked” crossing as it is on a dirt road leading to an oilfield location. There are no lights or mechanical alarms to alert anyone to an oncoming train, only the normal signs posted signifying a railroad crossing.

Union Pacific Railway officials arrived at the accident location and performed the necessary checks to make sure that there was no damage to the train tracks due to the sudden stopping of this particular train, and all train traffic resumed after a few hours.

Sheriff Scott Franklin said motorists should be extra careful when approaching railroad crossing. “Law requires that motorists come to a complete stop and look both ways before crossing railroad tracks,” he said. “Most have flashing lights or mechanical arms, but there are many in the parish that do not have any warning devices. Always be on the safe side even at crossings that have markers, and do your own checking.”