Truck crashes off HWY 730 onto railroad tracks, struck by train

By Observer Upload February 26, 2013 08:35 am

A truck lies beside railroad tracks on the south side of the Oregon/Washington border along HWY 730 after being struck by a train. The driver was able to escape the cab before the train struck.
A truck lies beside railroad tracks on the south side of the Oregon/Washington border along HWY 730 after being struck by a train. The driver was able to escape the cab before the train struck.

Railway traffic was affected Monday for several hours after a commercial truck transporting jet fuel traveled off Highway 730 south of the Oregon/Washington border and overturned onto Union Pacific tracks.

After the initial truck crash, a train traveling through the area collided with the overturned truck. Oregon State Police, Oregon Department of Transportation, railroad officials and local emergency responders, including Hazmat personnel, were on scene during the day investigating and coordinating removal of the involved vehicles.

Police said the accident occured around 6 a.m., when a commercial truck pulling two cargo tankers, containing about 10,000 gallons of jet fuel, driven by 72-year-old Richard James of San Antonio, Texas, was traveling on Highway 730 near milepost 203 when it traveled off the roadway. The truck and trailers went down an embankment where they overturned onto their side with the truck coming to rest on the railroad tracks.

James was able to get out of the truck and was later transported by ambulance to Good Shepherd Hospital in Hermiston with possible minor injuries. He was driving for KCCS Inc., according to a police report.

After the initial crash, one train approaching the area stopped but a second train didn't stop and collided with the overturned truck and one of the tanker trailers. Hermiston Fire Department, Oregon Region 10 HazMat Team, ODOT and Union Pacific Railroad personnel responded to the scene and assisted OSP. The major damage occurred to the truck. The highway was blocked for about eight hours.