Truck/Train Collision (Windmill Blade) in Luling

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

ehbowen

Engineer
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
2,459
Location
Houston, Texas
It appears that yesterday there was a serious accident between a specialized transport semi-truck moving a windmill blade and a Union Pacific freight train in Luling, Texas. According to reports I've seen, the windmill transporter was attempting to make a right turn from highway U.S. 90 onto U.S. 183 when the long cargo became hung up on the railroad crossing signal. The driver and his escort stopped to attempt to free the load, but apparently no one thought to notify the railroad. Then a Union Pacific freight train at what appears to be track speed came through town. The driver jumped in the truck and attempted to force his load through the crossing, regardless of damage to the railroad signal, but was unsuccessful and the train rammed the tail end of the blade causing the truck to overturn. A video was posted to Facebook (warning: graphic images and coarse language) of the moment of impact.

Other reports I've seen state that other windmill blade drivers take a different exit off the freeway so that they can come straight through this crossing without making the right turn; it appears this driver and escort were unfamiliar with the route or they were given bad directions. Or both. In any event, while no major injuries have been reported Union Pacific does state that its crew was taken to the hospital. The windmill blade, though, is an obvious total loss and there was damage to the crossing gates and signals. I'd hate to be paying the insurance bills for the transport company.

News report from KHOU (Channel 11, CBS, Houston)
 

Just-Thinking-51

Engineer
AU Lifetime Supporter
AU Supporter
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Messages
2,316
Location
USA
Been hit by a windmill blade once upon a time. At the Iowa 80 truckstop. The driver was not using his escort and missed judge his turn. At this time windmill equipment traveling on road was pretty new, so the pay was very good to move these things. I was empty at the time, and the blade lift/tilting my trailer. So on one side the wheels were lifted off the ground. He however did not flip my equipment. He did lose his job over this accident. That was the policy for this type of loads, any damage and start looking for new job.

New wind farms usually required modifications to the roads to get these equipment in and out. The transportation crew should of know the exact route, and driven it prior to hauling a blade. Bit surprised that they might of been off route. Most of these guys are very serious about there job (at first). I have notice more questionable actions as more people are working these accounts, but the “have pulse willing to work”. Is not limited to windmills transportation.
 
Last edited:

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
23,538
Location
Austin Texas
I used to live in Luling and this crossing has had numerous Train/Vehicle incidents over the years.

There was lots of discussion about prohibiting Trucks using the Highway 90 Route through town ( IH-10 has pretty much taken all the traffic that used to be just passing through town)but TXDOT ( old Texas Highway Dept)hasn't acted on this, nor has the City of Luling.

Anyone can easily see that making the right turn from Highway 90 to 183 isn't a good idea with anything bigger than a Car or Pickup, this driver will probably lose his job also.
 

west point

Engineer
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,778
Driver and lead car driver / spotter may also be looking for another job. Then if company used someone to set up route ?
 

me_little_me

Engineer
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2010
Messages
4,478
I've encountered cases where a "big" company subcontracts it to some little one-guy company who signs a contract agreeing to do everything by the book and take full responsibility. Then, when they don't use the book and have an accident, the big company says "Not me!". The little guy's insurance doesn't cover enough.
 

Just-Thinking-51

Engineer
AU Lifetime Supporter
AU Supporter
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Messages
2,316
Location
USA
My understanding the wind people want a insurance policy that will cover there losses before you can pull there stuff.
Will it cover other people’s damage not likely. Trucking companies have a very low insurance requirement to start with, and of course are fight tooth and nail to avoid a increase.
 
Top