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Train crashes into stalled car, tow truck in southwest Houston (TX)


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HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A train crashed into a stalled car and a tow truck that was there to help in southwest Houston on Friday night, officials said.

A BMW was stalled on the train tracks at Main Street and Hillcroft Street at around 11:30 p.m.

A tow truck driver tried to help the BMW when the train came and smashed into both vehicles, police said.

The people in the stalled car said they were able to escape in time without injuries.

"By the time he hooked it up and pulled off, the train was close. Everyone had to disperse. It hit the car. It hit both cars," said Rajshah Haywood, a passenger in the stalled car.

The train dragged the tow truck several feet down the tracks.

Officials said no one was seriously hurt.


RESOURCE LINK with video

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I might add that I confirm the train is stopped at least twice prior to recovering a vehicle from the tracks. Just know that you are not going to save that vehicle if you place your equipment and safety at risk because you did not confirm the tracks were clear and the trains were stopped. If the train isn't stopped and it hits the vehicle, then it takes out one vehicle and not two. This tow company could also be looking at a legal issue as well for failure to report. That is a Federal Crime, the RAIL ROAD DOES NOT PLAY. The cost of delay of train could be high for failure to report a vehicle on the tracks prior to recovery. Every Tow Company if not fully aware of this should be and go over it with the dispatchers and drivers. i'm willing to bet this was a new driver who meant well and thought he could save that vehicle in time. Lucky no one was injured or worse.

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So this really makes me MAD that someone in a wrecker is not properly trained.


Use this as an example to stress how important it is to have the tracks shut down.


Clear everyone from the tracks, if the vehicle is struck so be it, at least it was just the one and no one was injured. The Lack of Training is astonishing...

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As Moose said, most companies fail to provide training and there's little industry awareness of the dangers of working railroad rightaways. If there are trains and light-rail peoplemovers in your community, this is important training for tow operators to have. Since 1991, I've recorded as many as 12x tow operators involved fatals. But, even when law enforcement is on-scene and the emergency message is passed to rail-police dispatchers, that doesn't mean word got to the engineer ... watch this video. 



I'm including the link below to the national Operation LifeSaver, OLI.org, page for a basic truck driver training. Note:  This 12-page training is NOT specific to tow trucks and recoveries, but provides simple information and instruction for truck drivers experiencing a situation at the tracks. If your computer supports Adobe Flash, take the commercial truck drivers mini-test, pass it, and print out the certificate for your driver's file. Surprising enough, California leads in train v. tow truck fatalities. And, just like working off and away from the white-line of traffic, tow operators have to inititate loading and recovery that's away from a moving train or trolley.        R.



Randall C. Resch

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NEVER WOULD I HAVE DONE THAT... It was beat into my head from an early age of the dangers related to rail road tracks. That car on the tracks is struck then you recover the car, you don't recover the car and your wrecker. Hard to believe we have to remind any Tow Truck Operator about this policy.

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