Driver killed when train strikes his 18-wheeler

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 24, 1999

L’Observateur / February 24, 1999

PARADIS – A truck driver died Tuesday morning after the cab of his 18- wheeler was struck by a westbound train immediately west of Paradis.

Lt. Wayne LaGrange of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office reported thatno evacuation of the area was necessary. He said the rail crossing hadfunctional warning lights.

The name of the truck driver was withheld, pending notification of his family.

LaGrange said the truck driver, working for Vanguard Trucking of Houma, was entering the Texaco storage facility off Louisiana Highway 631 (Old Spanish Trail), across the Burlington Northern Railroad, at 5:45 a.m.He was driving a tanker truck which was carrying an unidentified but non- toxic substance when he entered the crossing. The train struck the cab ofthe truck and shoved it 500 feet along the track before the train could come to a halt.

The train had been traveling at 55 to 60 mph which was, according to railroad officials, a normal speed through the area.

A hazardous materials team from Louisiana State Police arrived at the scene and determined the accident posed no threat to surrounding residents and businesses, LaGrange added.

The crossing was marked with signs and had lights but no crossing gates.

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