Freight train strikes pickup that crashed on tracks after race

PHOTO BY NICK SAMUEL

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — A freight train struck a pickup after the driver crashed the vehicle onto the railroad tracks following a race with another truck early Wednesday, deputies said. The driver got out of the white Dodge Ram before the train slammed into the pickup.

“At approximately 2 a.m., we received a 911 call from one of the drivers stating his truck was struck by a train,” Indian River County sheriff’s spokesperson Sgt. Kevin Jaworski said. “The truck was unoccupied when it was hit by the train.”

Deputies are now conducting a DUI investigation into the drivers, two men, which means charges may be forthcoming. The second man, who drove a black Ram 2500, crashed into the woods, reports show.

“Both drivers are suspected to have been under the influence at the time of the crash,” Jaworski said. “Both subjects were transported to Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital for minor injuries.”

A third man who was a passenger in the Ram was also taken to Cleveland Clinic hospital for minor injuries.

The drivers were issued reckless driving citations, Jaworski said. The deputies were also awaiting results of the men’s blood-alcohol content level during the wreck.

Deputies responded to reports of a train crash about 2:06 a.m. at 71st Street and the railroad tracks. The deputies saw the Dodge truck on the west side of the railroad tracks and the Ram lodged among the wood line nearby, reports show.

Deputies spoke with the vehicle occupants and learned the two drivers were racing. The drivers failed to stop on the west side of 71st Street and continued traveling eastbound toward the railroad tracks, reports show.

“A preliminary investigation suggested that both drivers appeared to have been drag racing on a dead-end road that led to the train tracks,” Jaworski said. “They crashed on and near the tracks prior to the train striking one truck.”

The Florida East Coast Railway police were notified of the wreck. The sheriff’s office continues to investigate the crash.

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