A gas station surveillance camera captured a Trinity Railway Express train slamming into a pickup in Irving on Thursday and killing the 79-year-old driver.
The crash happened just after 1 p.m. at the intersection of Rock Island Road and Irby Lane. "Early accounts are that driver was trying to beat the train," DART spokesman Mark Ball initially told the Morning News.
But as the camera footage shows, it wasn't quite that straightforward. Seconds before the crash, a white pickup on approaches the rail crossing on Irby as the four cross arms are going down. It got a bit too close, bumping one of the arms and triggering two of the arms to go up.
DART spokesmen told Fox 4 that this was by design, a safety mechanism designed to allow drivers to escape if caught in the path of an oncoming train.
This happened to coincide with the arrival of the 79-year-old and his pickup, which were traveling along Rock Island Road, parallel to and in the same direction as the TRE train. From the video, it seems that the driver didn't see the train approaching over his shoulder and turned into its path.
The crash interrupted TRE service for a couple of hours. No one on the train was injured.
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