Train Derails in Hughson; Roads Closed

HUGHSON -- A freight train derailed late Saturday night in Hughson, emergency officials said.

The BNSF Railway train, which was heading to Stockton from Barstow, derailed along Santa Fe Avenue near East Hatch Road around 11:25 p.m.

No one was injured in the crash.

Crews were able to determine that no hazardous material was spilled during the derailment. The cars were carrying steel beams, according to BNSF Railway.

It was not immediately known what caused the crash. BNSF is leading the investigation.

For some residents in the Hughson area the scene played out like a movie. One resident said he thought a plane had crashed just as he was starting a movie Saturday night around 11:30, while many others in the area slept right through it.

"I hear this loud rumbling noise and initially I first thought it was an airplane because it sounded like it went right over the top of the house. The house was shaking, the windows were rattling," the resident said. "Then I hear the boom, boom, boom, boom. So I jumped up and came outside and ran outside. And that’s when I seen the train stopped. At first I thought, 'Oh, it hit something.'"

Bud and Vickie Miller have lived in the area for 28 years, hearing trains pass by their home all the time. But they missed out on the incident.

The busy intersection where the train derailed was just renovated in August.

"It just finished and it’s been a wonderful help to people on Hatch here going up and down. But to see it wiped out this fast is kind of surprising," Bud Miller told FOX40.

BNSF reports Hatch Road could be closed until Thursday for track repairs. Emergency officials said additional roads were also closed as a result of the derailment:

  • Santa Fe between Hatch and Leedom roads
  • Westbound Hatch at Santa Fe
  • Eastbound Hatch at Baldwin

The derailment will also affect Amtrak, which has been chartering people by bus from their stations in Merced and Stockton. The Modesto and Turlock stations will not be used while the track is out of service.

On the other side of the tracks, a Sikh temple had to evacuate some members in the night. One woman there, whose father was evacuated, said they had done three straight days of prayer, but because of the evacuation had to restart Sunday morning.

Officials hope to have the site of the crash cleared by 1 a.m. Monday.