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Train vs. pickup

CLEVELAND- A collision between a train and a pickup truck in Cleveland on Friday was a good reminder of why drivers should never disregard crossing arms and signals at railroad crossings.

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Cleveland Police Officer Stephen Hodges said 26-year-old Wesley Anderson was driving his Chevy pickup west on Fort Worth Street, and was just over the railroad tracks when the crossing arms began lowering in advance of an approaching train.

A Dodge van driven by Jonathan Garza, 52, of Cleveland, struck Anderson’s pickup and pushed it back onto the tracks and into the path of the train. Officer Hodges said Garza was turning east on Fort Worth Street from San Jacinto Street and appeared to be trying to get around the crossing arms when he struck Anderson’s vehicle head-on.

Upon realizing he was back on the train tracks, Anderson said his first thought was simply, “Get out! Get out!”

“We hit in a head-on collision, and the train came and hit my truck,” Anderson said.

Passenger Susan Jarells was shaken up, but uninjured.

“All I know is when we hit, I didn’t know what to think and he was just hollering to ‘get out and run, get out and run’ because the train was coming,” Jarells said, “And by the time we’d barely made it across the road is when the train hit the truck.”

Garza and his female passenger were also uninjured.

Small items from inside the pickup were stuck to the front and side of the train engine.

Hodges wrote Garza a citation for failure to control speed and a warning ticket for disregarding the railroad crossing signals.

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