FIRST ON CBS7: Midland County Sheriff's deputy hit by train; Drove around lowered crossing gate

(Photo: Rudy Jaquez/CBS7)
(Photo: Rudy Jaquez/CBS7)(KOSA)
Published: May. 21, 2019 at 12:22 PM CDT
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New details have been released on today's train crash involving a Midland County Sheriff's Office deputy.

According to Sheriff Gary Painter, the deputy was responding to a call of an infant having breathing issues when the accident happened.

Video shows that he'd driven around the lowered crossing gate to wait on one train. After it passed, he pulled forward to cross the tracks, and was hit by a second train heading in the other direction.

The sudden crash was a jarring scene for onlookers.

“I guess he just didn’t see the other train and the train just hit him head on,” Mike Lopez said. “A couple more seconds and he would have been gone. Other than that, it was pretty crazy seeing it right here in front of us.”

But fortunately, despite the seemingly catastrophic wreck, the deputy managed to get away with few injuries.

Sheriff Painter said that deputy was taken to the hospital with bruising throughout his body and some pains in his neck and head.

He says it could have been much, much worse.

“When I got the call that he had been hit by a train and there was head injuries, everything runs through your head,” Painter said. “You just, you pray for the best, but you expect for the worst. And thank God he’s not hurt that bad.”

The sheriff explained the deputy was in such a hurry because they were trying to get to a baby who was having difficulty breathing.

“Because they were in an emergency situation trying to get across,” Painter said. “They had their red lighted and sirens on and they were trying to get across to help the family.”

The video shows that the crossing lights were flashing signaling cars to wait and the deputy drove around the lowered bar on the right side that was meant to keep him away from danger.

Lopez saw the whole wreck and its aftermath from across the street.

He said the crashed deputy was helped out of the car through the windshield and miraculously dusted himself and was able to walk away from the wreck.

“Lucky man,” he said. “Lucky somebody was watching over him. That’s crazy.”

Emergency responders were able to reach the infant who has been taken to the emergency room.

DPS will investigate the crash.

A semi-truck was hit by a train at the same crossing on Monday.