BNSF train hits tractor-trailer in Camas

There were no injuries

"We held [train traffic] for two hours as we inspected the track and cleaned up the area of debris. It is safe for train travel."

-- Gus Melonas, BNSF

“We held [train traffic] for two hours as we inspected the track and cleaned up the area of debris. It is safe for train travel.”

— Gus Melonas, BNSF

BNSF Railway traffic was delayed for two hours Monday following a collision in Camas that involved a tractor-trailer and a train.

According to BNSF Spokesman Gus Melonas, at 3 p.m. a locomotive heading west hit the flatbed trailer portion of the vehicle at a private crossing approximately three-tenths of a mile east of the Washougal River Bridge. Prior to impact, the train’s emergency brake had been activated.

According to Melonas, there were no injuries to the train’s two-person crew or the driver of the tractor-trailer.

The lead locomotive and the truck’s flatbed trailer, which was carrying steel reinforcement devices, were damaged. The tractor-trailer was removed from the scene, while the lead locomotive was taken to a siding area in west Camas where it will be repaired by a Vancouver BNSF crew.

The train, which was hauling multiple flat cars with empty containers, did not de-rail.

“At 5:15 the line has resumed normal operations,” Melonas said. “We held [train traffic] for two hours as we inspected the track and cleaned up the area of debris. It is safe for train travel.”

According to Camas Police Department Sgt. Scot Boyles, the access road where the collision took place leads to the private driveway of Concrete Products Co., of Oregon, located at 1615 N.E. Sixth Ave.

“It was a truck that had business with Concrete Products,” he said of the semi that was involved in the crash. “I don’t know if it was a Concrete Products truck or not.”

According to Melonas, the train originated in Roosevelt, Washington, which is located in Klickitat County, and was destined for Everett, Washington. The maximum train speed in the area where the collision took place is 50 mph. The route through Camas and Washougal is traveled by an average of 35 trains per day.

The incident caused a total of three trains to be delayed, he said.

The private crossing located off of Northeast Sixth Avenue includes signs that posted a warning of the potential for train traffic, Melonas explained, but there are no automated light signals or gate arms.

BNSF’s law enforcement division is investigating the incident, along with local police.

“[BNSF] are the primary investigators,” Boyles said. “If there are any charges involved, they will be the ones to file them.”

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