Suspected race with freight train wrecks new truck – but driver walks away

Those wanting to go to the Airport Costco store on September 11th had to find another route; NE 139th Ave. was blocked for most of the day. See our exclusive photos …

Workers from Union Pacific look at the brand new truck, lying on its side, just outside Altec, at NE 140th Ave. and Sandy Blvd.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Witnesses at the scene said it looked as if the driver was trying to beat a freight train across the tracks at NE 140th Ave. and Sandy Blvd., into the parking lot at Altec, but if he was, he didn’t make it.

Others guessed the driver might have been blinded by the rising sun as he looked eastward, and so didn’t see the westbound freight barreling toward him.

“We don’t know exactly how it happened,” Cpt. Mike Brouillette from Portland Fire and Rescue told us, on Monday, September 11th, “but what we had here is a brand-new truck being delivered to Altec. It came off of Sandy Boulevard, and went north over a private railroad crossing. The engine of a Union Pacific freight train tagged the back end of the truck. The truck twisted around and went over.”

As the truck came to rest, it broke the utility pole behind it. You can see the pole hanging at an angle behind the wrecked rig.

The driver was transported to Portland Adventist Hospital. “He had no real obvious injuries. The driver was standing up inside the cab when we got to him,” said Brouillette.

There were no reports of injuries to the crew of the Union Pacific freight train. But you can see the damage on the far, front corner of the engine.

By the time the freight train came to a stop, it had traveled west of NE 122nd Avenue. The accident is still under investigation, but no citations had been issued as of the posting of this report.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

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