Round Rock firefighters captured the power of a freight train as it barreled into a wrecked car. FOX 7’s Noelle Newton spoke with them about the frantic moments beforehand to get bystanders out of the way.
Round Rock firefighters Gary Wallis and Charlie Papenhausen will testify that the power of a moving train is something you don't want to challenge.
"A train, it's a big beast and nothing's going to make it stop,” said Papenhausen.
On Monday they responded to a crash at the intersection of McNeil and Oak Ridge Drive. One of the vehicles involved came to a rest on the train tracks that line McNeil. The driver was out when the firefighters arrived.
"Just as we had confirmed how many patients we had the train started coming and it was 25 yards from us. So quickly we made sure everyone was back. Some people we had to physically move back from the scene,” said Wallis.
"We kept everybody off the street and behind the vehicles because we didn't know what was going to happen, where the vehicle was going to go,” said Papenhausen.
Once everyone was safe, they captured this video.
"Train hit, spun the car around and it came right back and hit our fire engine which was actually parked perfectly because if the fire engine wasn't there that car would've gone out into traffic that was waiting,” said Wallis.
Thanks to the firefighter's quick response, no bystanders were injured. Damage to the fire truck where the flying vehicle came to a rest was thankfully minimal.
"It just ended up being a crazy deal seeing it in person. You see it online and it seems like a major deal. You see it in person it's larger than you expect,” said Papenhausen.
As the men review the video and the images in their minds they both agree...
"Definitely if you see the arms coming down at an intersection, there's no reason to chance it and go through,” said Papenhausen.
The firefighters say the train conductor was able to apply the emergency brake prior to impact. Union Pacific tells FOX 7 it would take over a mile for a fully-loaded train moving at 50 miles per hour to come to a complete stop.