CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Emergency crews responded to a collision between a train and a tractor-trailer in Chester on Thursday.
The crash occurred just before 4:30 p.m. on Curtis Street in Chester, according to Chesterfield Fire.
Dashcam footage sent to 8News shows two people flee from the tractor-trailer, which appears to be stalled on the tracks before the train strikes the trailer.
8News spoke with Mike Eugene, the man who sent the video to 8News, about how it felt seeing the train hit the tractor-trailer in real time.
“I see the guardrail down, the lights flashing so I know a train is coming,” Eugene told 8News.
The train ripped through the tractor-trailer and spilled its items onto the railroad track. Video shows people nearby who responded to the scene looking at the wreckage in disbelief.
“Oh, it blew through like a knife in butter,” Eugene said. “It was so fast and it just exploded.”
Eugene is glad everyone in the truck and train made it out safely.
“It was faster than a normal freight train goes through. We’ve had a lot of problems with trains going so and taking their time, this guy was moving a little bit,” Eugene told 8News.
8News learned that this incident was not the first time a truck has been struck on the tracks at Curtis Street crossing.
Looking at the road leading up to the tracks, people can see a steep slope. The incline makes it difficult for big rigs and flat bottom trucks to get across.
There are signs up warning drivers about the issue, but people who maneuver the intersection on a daily basis don’t think it’s enough.
“I do think it’s a little bit of an issue to have that many problems with it,” Tabitha Reeves, who lives near Curtis Street crossing, told 8News.
Reeves lives just down the street from the crossing.
“It’s like a hill you can’t really see above it,” said Reeves. “You don’t know what you’re going to go over, so it’s definitely somewhere that you kinda gotta watch out for.”
In 2014, there was a deadly collision at the crossing. Two months later, another truck got stuck and struck.
In 2016, a train hit another vehicle and then there was the catastrophic collision on Thursday.
“Oh my gosh it was so loud,” Reeves said. “It was very loud. I mean, it scared me so, so bad.”
Stay with 8News for updates on this developing story.