A pickup truck rolled over onto railroad tracks Wednesday evening near Atwater, as an oncoming train approached, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Officers said the truck’s two occupants were able to escape from the truck, and the oncoming train was able to stop before a collision could happen.
The incident was reported around 6 p.m. near Avenue 2 and Santa Fe Drive. The truck was traveling eastbound in the slow lane of Santa Fe Drive, carrying an 18-year-old male passenger and a 44-year-old male driver, according to the CHP.
For unknown reasons, the driver of the truck turned hard to the right, and the truck veered to the right onto the shoulder and rolled over three or four times onto the tracks. The occupants got out of the vehicle and the operators of the oncoming freight train were notified about the vehicle on the tracks. According to the CHP, the train was able to stop around 450 to 500 feet from where the truck rolled over.
The CHP initially reported that one of the truck’s tires had blown out, but after further investigation officers determined that wasn’t the case.
Reyna Cervantes, who saw the crash, said emergency responders were initially concerned the train was going to crash into the truck. “We were trying to make sure that everyone was out, but we didn’t want to get too close,” Cervantes said.
The 18-year-old man was taken to a regional hospital. His condition is unknown, although witnesses said he was talkative and awake when emergency responders arrived.