18-wheeler driver killed after crashing into train in Montgomery County

One person is dead after a crash between a truck and a train in Montgomery County, officials say.

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According to the East Montgomery County Fire Department, the crash occurred along US-59 near Midline Road near Splendora around 7:30 a.m. Monday.

Truck driver Michael Flora died in that fatal train crash just seconds after he left the company where he worked and somehow drove into the path of a train.

According to the fire department, 16 rail cars derailed, but they didn't pose a threat to the public. We're told the train was hauling non-toxic household goods. Diesel fuel spilled and is being cleaned up by a hazmat crew. 

Colleagues of Flora are still left in disbelief after the 57-year-old drove away from the mobile home lot where he worked, headed to another business to make a pickup. 

David Cuadros who owns Clearance Homes of Texas and knows the driver, works down the street uses and the same pick-up and delivery drivers

"It’s obviously devastating for everybody," he said. "Just a wonderful group of guys. I mean anytime we need something they’re here for us."


However, as he attempted to drive across the railroad tracks in his 18-wheeler Flora was struck and killed by an oncoming Union Pacific train, causing 21 train cars to derail and destroy a large section of the track. 

"When the train impacted the cab it drug the trailer, cab, and everything all down the tracks about a half mile down the tracks. The 18-wheeler was totally destroyed," said Splendora Police Chief Wally Wieghat. "It’s just pieces of it scattered up and down the railroad track."

The crash investigation has been going on for hours and stretches for miles.

"He had a good line of sight, and he should have been able to see if he was looking. Apparently, he must have just not looked to the left and observed the train coming," the chief explained. "That particular railroad crossing is controlled by a yield sign for traffic both ways. It doesn’t have any guard arms or flashing lights."

Emergency crews are on the scene, and the public is asked to avoid the northbound feeder of US-59 north of FM 2090. The scene is expected to be active for hours. 

In fact, clean-up and the investigation are expected to continue through the night and Tuesday morning. Highway 59 North feeder at Midline is expected to remain closed at least until noon tomorrow.