Highway Accident Report

Accident No.: HWY-98-SH-007
Accident Type: Highway-rail grade crossing collision
Location: Blum, Texas
Date and Time: November 13, 1997; 8:45 a.m.
Vehicle 1 (V1): 1998 Ford tank truck hauling propane
Vehicle 2 (V2): Freight train
Fatalities: 2 fatalities

PDF Document

Accident Description

The truckdriver drove onto the railroad tracks at a passive grade crossing on Hill County Road 1130 and was struck by a freight train. (See figure 1.) The propane tanks and the truck's fuel tank ruptured at impact, causing a fire. The truckdriver and codriver were ejected and fatally injured. The truckdriver had been taking prescription medicine for diabetes. The train's horn had been sounding; audibility testing revealed that it could not be heard in the truck cab. Sight distance was limited at this crossing; however, because the driver was hauling hazardous materials, he was required to stop, look, and listen for trains.

State/Federal Oversight

Texas adopted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations with some variances; none of the variances were pertinent to the carrier or driver at the time of the accident. Following unrated compliance reviews in 1992 and 1993, the carrier was fined $2,500 for violations of hazardous materials regulations.

Figure 1. Accident diagram.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the truckdriver's failure to yield to the approaching freight train.

Adopted: September 17, 2002