DPS Wraps Up Investigation of Monday's Deadly Crash off Hwy 84

The Department of Public Safety has concluded their investigation of a fatal collision between a train and 18-wheeler Monday, saying the official cause was because the the truck was stopped on the tracks as the train was approaching.
It was a tragic scene off Highway 84 on Monday, when a train struck an 18-wheeler, killing the driver of the truck.

The Department of Public Safety has since wrapped up their investigation. They say the official cause of the crash was because the truck was stopped on the tracks, and the train couldn't stop in time. However, DPS says they weren't able to determine why the truck was on the tracks to begin with.

In light of the accident, some local rail companies want to remind drivers of their responsibilities when it comes to driving near crossings.

"We operate big long trains that take many thousands of feet, if not miles, to stop at full speed," says Bruce Carswell, vice president of Permian Basin Railways. "We can't approach a crossing and prepare to stop. Motor vehicle operators need to do that."

Carwell says Texas has the highest number of train accidents in the country.

"There are very many of what we call the 'passively protected crossings' in the state of Texas, that have just what we call crossbucks." says Carswell. "Under law those are the same as a yield sign."

Monday's accident was at one of those passively protected crossings. Carswell says motorists need to always yield to crossings, even if they don't see lights or a sign to stop. Drivers should also listen, because all trains must blow their horns to warn when they're coming through.

"So the combination of the fact that drivers should be approaching the crossing prepared to stop, and the horn, along with lights and those sorts of things on the engine, should be enough to keep an incident like what happened yesterday from happening," Carswell warns. 

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