A Florida Asphalt dump truck was struck by a CSX freight train east of Midway Monday morning, about 9:00 a.m., throwing the driver from the truck onto the front of the train's locomotive.

Gadsden Emergency Management Director Jimmy DeVane just happened to be an eye witness -- while cheking on illegal oil dumping at the Ochlocknee River Bridge -- when he saw the truck pull out of Sand Pit Road, a private road at the intersection of U.S. 90, into the path of the westbound train.

DeVane said the dump truck rolled several times after being struck on the right rear side, ejecting Evangelist Budd Walker, 45, of Tallahassee, through the windshield and dumping the entire load of sand on the ground. DeVane said he immediately notified dispatch to send EMS and additional help.

It took several minutes to locate the driver, according to DeVane, and he feared Walker may have been thrown under the train. But rescuers soon found him hanging on the locomotive with visible injuries to his head. Devane said Walker was talking and seemed alert as EMS technicians prepared him for transport to the hospital. A Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) report described his injuries as "incapacitating".

The freight train was travelling about 40 mph when the collision occured, DeVane said. The train had 35 cars and was hauling semi-trailers from Jacksonville.

According to FHP, the train sustained about $6,000 in damages to the locomotive while damages to the 2000 model Mack dump truck were estimated at $20,000.

Other than engine oil and gasoline from the dump truck, there was no hazardous spill of any kind, DeVane said.

Article taken from the Havana Herald