Paul Jackson, a 50-year-old Chowchilla man, was killed this morning when an Altamont Commuter Express train slammed into his pickup on
California Highway Patrol Officer Bob Rickman said Jackson died at the scene after the train, moving at about 70 mph, hit the driver’s side of the truck at about 4:45 a.m. Rickman said the railroad crossing arm had come down as the westbound train approached, before the southbound truck went onto the track.
“He was stopped and he went through it,” Rickman said. It was unclear if the truck broke the crossing arm or went around it. The truck reportedly stopped on the track and the ACE engineers sounded a warning before the impact. The train dragged the truck for about 1,000 feet before it stopped.
Jackson was the only person in the truck. He also had a dog with him and the dog was killed as well.
ACE spokesman Thomas Reeves said the crash delayed the commuter train, the first of the morning, by about two hours, but didn’t cause any injuries to anyone on the train, nor did it cause serious damage to the train. The second train wasn’t able to pass until about 6:45 a.m., about 45 minutes late, and the third and fourth trains ran on time.
The crash happened next to DVI about a half-mile west of an accident three months ago where a small herd of cows from the prison wandered onto the track and 28 were killed or had to be euthanized.
To reach reporter Bob Brownne, call 830-4227 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.