120518-FedEx_train_crash.jpg Police Activity
A train crashes into a parcel truck on railroad tracks in North Salt Lake, UT.

Dashcam of the Week: Parcel truck vs. train

Police dashcam footage catches railroad malfunction that causes an epic crash between a train and a FedEx semi-trailer in North Salt Lake, UT.

It’s just a normal winter day in North Salt Lake, UT: Snowy and cold, smack-dab in the middle of January. North Salt Lake police officer drives his car through town, just like any ordinary day.

That is, until a Utah Transit Authority (UTA) FrontRunner commuter train blasts across railroad tracks without any signal to others on the road, crashing head-on into a FedEx truck.

While American Trucker often features footage caught by truck drivers, this police car captured this crash in action and was posted by the verified account, Police Activity. As the footage begins, one FedEx truck is seen driving in front of the police car.

Maybe this is the truck that gets demolished? Think again!

In comes another FedEx truck on the other side of the road, with both trucks crossing the tracks simultaneously. However, one truck makes it across first, just in time before the train comes zooming into the scene. But watch very carefully in the video below for an intriguing detail:

Why was there no indication that there was an incoming train? According to the preliminary investigation by UTA, the crossing gates, flashing lights, and bells that indicate an incoming train is near were not active.

“In the event of a power outage or lack of signal, crossing gates are programmed to default to the ‘down and active’ position as a safety precaution,” said UTA.

Even though it was a normal day in Utah, the gates were not active due to severe ice that was accumulating, combined with the snow conditions during the winter storm at the time.

Did you notice, however, that the police car stopped and began to reverse instead of crossing the tracks while the FedEx truck that got hit did not? What do you think happened... did the policeman hear the train blowing its horn or spot the train approaching the crossing? Did the truck driver have the same realization too late? 

There's no sound in the video and no further information available, so no way to know for sure. Luckily, there were no serious injuries sustained in the crash.

It's a reminder to keep a wary eye out on those roads, folks—particularly in the extreme cold. You never know when a train is going to come barreling down the tracks.

 

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