Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have found that an improperly maintained truck – bad brakes – was the likely cause of a fatal accident involving a collision between a truck and a passing train.
This accident happened out-of-state, but it could very well have happened in Texas, where truck maintenance (or lack thereof) is a widespread problem, given the number of 18-wheelers on the road for natural gas fracking on the Eagle Ford Shale and Barnett Shale.
It’s up to private trucking companies to ensure their trucks are up to speed, so to speak, and that comes down to money.
In the case involving the truck and train, investigators observed time-lapse images showing the crossing gate down and the lights flashing well before the truck went across the tracks. As for the truck, it was skidding roughly 300 feet, as Scott Sonner reports for the Associated Press, before hitting the side of the passing train.
Sonner quotes the NTSB Chairman: “[W]e know the truck had faulty equipment – brakes that were not properly maintained.”
The truck driver appeared not to have been paying attention, as well, because if he had slammed on his brakes just moments sooner, the whole accident might have been avoided.
Source: NTSB focuses on bad truck brakes in Amtrak crash