Representatives from Trinity Metro will meet with the city to discuss safety measures at an east Fort Worth rail crossing after six people were injured Wednesday when a Trinity Railway Express train collided with a tanker truck.
The crossing near North Collins Street was the same one where two people died Aug. 25 when a dump truck struck a TRE train.
Eduardo Navarro, who has worked for a contractor near the crossing for a year, said Wednesday the intersection was dangerous.
Two truck drivers agreed with him.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Independent truck driver Raymond Quinones said he has been caught on the tracks and has had a near miss with the train.
“When the lights come on, you only get 10 seconds before the train arrives,” Quinones said. “You’ve got seconds to make a decision.”
Truck driver Michael Castillo said he backs up as quickly as possible when he sees the lights on.
“They’ve got to do something about this,” Castillo said referring to the crossing. “This is a dangerous spot.”
The crash was reported shortly after 5:30 a.m. on Calloway Cemetery Road. One person was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth for back and neck injuries. The others were treated at the scene.
The truck, which was carrying liquid asphalt, was hit by the railroad arms, causing the vehicle to spin, police said. The truck was then hit by the train. A truck that had stopped ahead of the semi made it impossible for the driver to completely clear his vehicle from the tracks, Trinity Metro spokeswoman Linda Thornton said via email.
The collision knocked the truck on its side and caused heavy damage. The truck driver was one of the injured, authorities said.
People were on the train at the time of the accident, said Morgan Lyons, a DART spokesman, in a Wednesday telephone interview.
Short-term safety measures could include closing the crossing and establishing slower speeds for the trains, Thornton said. A long-term solution might be redesigning the crossing. The meeting with the city officials is scheduled for Nov. 28.
She said that the signal crossing at that intersection is programmed to activate 47 seconds before a train enters it, more than double the Federal Railroad Administration’s minimum signal activation timing.
Thornton said that additional safety measures weren’t considered after the August fatality because the driver went around the crossing arm in the down position, which she said was “a flagrant and costly violation by the truck driver of not obeying the signal and trying to beat the train.”