Earlier this week, there were two accidents involving semi-trucks and trains within four hours and 20 miles of one another. Although more than 20 people were injured, it appears that no one was killed in the series of accidents. California police and federal investigators are still working to determine the cause of both crashes.
The first truck accident took place just after noon, when a semi-truck went through a railroad crossing and slammed into an Amtrak train. The truck crashed into the train between the last passenger car and the locomotive, which was pushing the train from the rear. The force of the collision caused the locomotive and at least one of the train's four passenger cars to become partially derailed.
There were about 170 passengers on board the train at the time of the crash. At least 20 people suffered injuries including scrapes, bruises and possible broken bones. It is not known whether the truck driver was also injured in the crash.
Investigators have not yet determined why the truck ran through the intersection when there was clearly a train in the crossing. The truck, which was carrying 'cotton trash' was still lying on its side on the train tracks several hours after the crash, disrupting train service throughout the remainder of the day.
About four hours later a different semi-truck crashed into a freight train in a California train just over 15 miles away from the scene of the first accident. It does not appear that anyone was injured in that second crash.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "Big rig slams into Amtrak train in Central Valley," Peter Fimrite and Will Kane, Oct. 2, 2012