Train traffic has had some trouble in the local area over the past day or so, after a pair of train-versus-vehicle collisions that took place in Cowlitz County. Around 9:15 yesterday morning, a dump truck was going over a private crossing in the area of Dwight Road and Barnes Road, and collided with a railway service unit that was on the tracks. It’s reported that the truck driver failed to stop, and crashed into a vehicle that is used to service tracks. The dump truck driver was taken to St. John Medical Center with injuries that are said to be minor. Train traffic was delayed for about an hour after the collision.
At 6:20 pm on Wednesday, William Barnell, 82, was driving on Pleasant Hill Road, and he turned onto Horseshoe Bend Estates. Deputies say that he failed to obey a stop sign on a private rail crossing, going over the double set of main line tracks. Barnell’s minivan was hit by a northbound Union Pacific freight train, doing heavy damage to the rear of the van. Train crew members say that they were doing 49 miles an hour, just below the speed limit for that stretch of track; they sounded their horn and activated the emergency brake when they saw Barnell’s van. No injuries were reported on the train crew and the train was not damaged. Barnell was also unhurt; he was cited for failing to stop at a stop sign.