A truck driver escaped injury after his rig overturned and then was struck by a train north of Itasca Friday night, September 12. A passerby on Highway 81 made the 9-1-1 call to the Hill County Sheriff's Department at 8:15 p.m.
Dean Ward of Frost attempted to turn his water truck off the highway onto HCR 4115 about four miles north of Itasca. The wheels of the trailer slipped off the culvert, and the rig flipped on its side with the cab resting on the railroad crossing.
An approaching northbound train applied its emergency brakes but couldn't stop before striking the truck and knocking it off the tracks. The engines went another quarter of a mile before the engineer got the train stopped.
Ward had exited the truck, which was carrying non-potable water to a natural-gas drill site, and was not injured. First responders from Itasca and Covington volunteer fire departments were dispatched.
Department of Public Safety Trooper Ronald Slay investigated. Assisting at the scene were Itasca and Covington police and Hill County Sheriff's Department deputies.