RIO LINDA — A California Highway Patrol car was destroyed after a Union Pacific Train smashed into it just after 7 a.m. Friday morning on Elkhorn Blvd and Blacktop Road in Rio Linda.
“We shouldn’t have been parked where we were,” CHP spokesperson Chad Hertzell said.
Hertzell said officer was responding to two separate accidents on Elkhorn Boulevard — one on either side of the tracks, just feet from each other. When he arrived, he couldn’t fit his car behind the fire truck so he parked his patrol vehicle in the westbound lane, between the crossing arm and the tracks.
“Just like anybody else, you don’t want to park inside the crossing arms. Obviously, the officer wasn’t parked where he should have been. As a result we have a demolished patrol car,” Hertzell said.
Officer Hertzell says he is just glad no one was injured.
“He parked it, what he thought was, a safe distance away from the railroad tracks. Evidently, not too safe. As the railroad was coming northbound, it hit the front end of his patrol car and pretty much demolished it. No one was in the patrol car, thank god, and no injuries,” said Hertzell.
At the time of the accident, CHP says there was very dense fog.
“Very low visibility it was kind of hard to see from one end with two separate collisions going on each end of the track it was really hard to see one end of the collision to the other,” said Hertzell.
This accident is currently under investigation. There were no immediate plans of disciplinary action against the officer.