Tri-Rail train vs. tractor trailer in WPB

By Lindsay Cohen email
Posted by Rachel Leigh email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - The watermelon remnants have been removed; the splintered wood, swept away; and traffic is once again moving along Belvedere Road after a train collided with a tractor-trailer early Tuesday morning.

"We hear the train coming. We see the lights. Then we ran," said the truck's driver, Willie Jackson. "Boom! [The train] hit the truck and the trailer."

Jackson escaped the collision unharmed. He told authorities that he was driving his truck on Belvedere Road when the trailer dislodged from the cab as he was going over the Tri-Rail train tracks.

Jackson says he quickly got out of the cab and tried to find a way to warn authorities before a train approached. He was unable to do so in the few minutes before the next train came by.

"All of a sudden, all you had was a kaboom!" said Jeff Anderson, who heard the impact of the crash. "And you seen the fiberglass off the cab of the truck just shattering all over the road."

The road was shut down for hours and rush hour traffic rerouted while authorities investigated the accident.

Workers spent the morning testing the intersection to make sure there was no long-term damage to the train crossing. Other crews cleaned up debris, including produce from the truck.

Tri-Rail trains eventually got back up and running after delays of nearly an hour. Some commuters had to be bussed between stations, according to a company spokesperson. About 100 people were on board the train at the time of the accident. No one was injured.

"It was crazy," Jackson said, after walking away from the accident without injury. "It was crazy. I never been in this situation. I'm just blessed."