Officials in Fort Worth say a deadly collision between a train and a dump trunk could have easily been prevented.
It happened about noon, Saturday, in far east Fort Worth, on the border with Arlington.
According to DART, witnesses say the truck crossed the tracks while the arms were down and lights and bells were going off. The train operator tried to brake but there wasn’t enough time to stop before the collision. Two people inside the truck were killed.
"Our trains do not take more than a few seconds. there is nothing on the other side that is worth your life. two people are dead. That’s tragic,” said DART spokesman Morgan Lyons
Witnesses on the train describe seeing a fireball explosion outside their windows upon impact. Arlington, Euless, Fort Worth fire departments and MedStar all responded. Officials say 2 people in the dump truck are dead, and according to MedStar; 11 people, including the train conductor, were transported to local hospitals. 2 are in critical condition, 3 are serious, and 6 have minor injuries. 30 others were treated on scene and released.
MedStar says most patients had trauma injuries or heat issues. Jason Gladden was sitting on the upper level of the train as it collided with the truck.
“It was really like one of those near death experiences, with the fire and the smoke, you didn't know what was gonna happen, if the train was gonna catch on fire, if it was gonna derail,” he said.
The deceased have not yet been identified. The maximum authorized speed for the train at that point is 79 mph, but officials don't know yet how fast the train was going upon impact. DART has shuttle busses getting passengers between Bell and Centreport stations as several agencies investigate.