Authorities reported that no one was injured in a train accident involving an 18-wheeler in Reagan, Texas, on Thursday, August 5th.
Interpreting the Event
The primary concern following the Reagan train accident on Thursday afternoon was clearing the debris that spilled from the semi-truck involved. According to Falls County authorities, there were no injuries in the crash.
The accident occurred sometime before 5 p.m. when the Sheriff’s Office posted about the crash. The post states that the accident happened at CR 205 west of 1373 in Reagan. Following the incident, both the tracks and the road were closed for cleaning.
Reports stated that the truck involved was hauling grain, and images of the aftermath of the crash appeared to show some of that grain spilled across the ground.
While some reports suggested that the front of the train was crushed in the crash based on the post-crash pictures, this does not seem to be accurate. A bystander captured the crash on video, and the train did not appear to slow down after the collision with the semi, which was struck near the center of the trailer it was hauling. The post-crash images show considerable debris near the front of the train, but that debris seemed to come from the trailer rather than the engine itself.
The conductor was able to bring the engine to a halt a few train car lengths past the intersection where the collision took place.
The cause of this accident has not been reported at this time, though the video of the event shows the truck stopped halfway through the intersection for several seconds before being hit by the train.
Texas Train Accidents
In the past five years, Texas’ record on railway safety has been incredibly patchy. While it’s common to see some zig-zagging in auto accident data, Texas’ train accident data defies explanation.
Over the past five years, total train accidents in Texas rose from 257 to 287 in 2018 and back down to 206 in 2020. Meanwhile, rates of fatal train accidents have nearly done the reverse, hitting a high of 10 in 2016 before falling to 6 in 2018 and back up to a record 15 fatal train accidents in 2019.
While it’s difficult to tell why these rates change from year to year, they seem to suggest that something is lacking in the way that Texans have been working to address railway danger over the past five years.
Cutting down on total train accidents may very well be the best way to reduce deadly accidents, but it’s also possible that more needs to be done to teach risk reduction techniques in the case of these events.