NORTH SALT LAKE, Utah, Jan. 24, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Dramatic dash cam video released Tuesday shows that railroad crossing arms were not lowered or flashing warning lights on Saturday morning when a FrontRunner train smashed into Federal Express semitrailer.
An officer from the North Salt Lake Police Department was approaching the crossing, at about 1100 North, while two FedEx cargo trucks were preparing to cross the tracks from different directions and lanes. The cruiser’s dashboard camera captured what happened next.
The semi traveling just ahead of the NSLPD officer’s cruiser, in the same lane, cleared the tracks safely, but just barely. A second semi with two trailers, moving toward the officer’s car from the opposite traffic lane, was struck.
The violent impact separated the trailers from the cab section of the truck, sending cargo flying.
Shortly after the impact, the railroad crossing arms slowly lowered and the warning lights blinked to life.
No one was seriously injured in the accident, including the 80 or so FrontRunner passengers, according to information reported Saturday by the South Davis Metro Fire. Two people were treated for minor injuries.
Investigators believe the crossing arms may have been affected by ice and snow, according to information released by Utah Transit Authority spokesman Remi Barron. If a power outage had occurred, the arms should have automatically lowered to traffic-blocking position.
UTA is interviewing employees in the case, Baron said, to determine if human error was a factor in the accident.
“The agency has never had an accident like this before, and UTA is investigating why and how it happened to ensure it doesn’t occur again,” said a prepared statement from the Utah Transit Authority.
The agency is committed, the statement said, “… to a thorough and accurate review of this incident to ensure we are providing a safe transit system to our customers.”
The North Salt Lake Police Department also is involved in the investigation, and Federal safety authorities will review findings.