Fortunately, the officer only suffered minor injuries.
When cars and trains come together, the car always loses – even if there are flashing lights on the roof and Sheriff markings down the side. Fortunately, the officer in this particular police vehicle escaped with only minor injuries and bruising after getting slammed point blank by a freight train in Midland County, Texas. As you can see from the video at the top of the page, it could’ve been so much worse.
The circumstances of the crash aren’t as cut-and-dry as you might think. According to a report from CB7 in Odessa, Texas, the sheriff’s deputy was responding to an emergency call for an infant that wasn’t breathing. Video shows the Chevrolet Tahoe police cruiser stopped at the track as a train passes from right to left. As soon as the last car is clear the deputy hits the gas, but there was another set of tracks at the crossing with a train headed in the opposite direction, and it arrived just as the cruiser crossed the tracks.
Another video (above) shows a perspective closer to the tracks. It’s fortunate the train wasn’t going faster, and that the impact – while causing considerable damage – was more of a glancing blow that pushed the SUV away from the tracks. Otherwise, it could’ve been pushed some distance down the track, possibly causing more injury to the officer.
Care should always be taken at railroad crossings, but watching the video it’s clear this was just an unfortunate accident. With an infant’s life at stake there was clearly a sense of urgency to get moving, but the first train completely obscured the second train until it was too late. We’re grateful the deputy only received bumps and bruises, and we hope the infant was okay as well.