TRACY, Calif. (KTXL) — A man died Wednesday when the street sweeper he was driving was hit by an Altamont Commuter Express train in Tracy, according to California Highway Patrol.
Around 7:05 a.m., a construction company was doing roadwork near McArthur Drive when a sweeper truck crossed over the train track, CHP Officer Joe Whitlock told FOX40.
“Apparently the sweeper driver was crossing over the railroad tracks on MacArthur Drive just south of Linne Road when the crossing arms came down,” Whitlock said.
CHP says the driver got stuck in between the crossing arms and couldn’t get out before the train made impact.
“Reports say that he was trying to maneuver the sweeper truck off of the railroad tracks when the train struck the sweeper,” Whitlock said.
“I heard the ACE train and the horn like normal. Then I thought I heard like, a boom, which sounded a little bit unusual,” said Ed Corsaro, who lives near the train tracks. “I didn’t think too much of it and then the horn on a train went off for probably 30 seconds or so nonstop.”
CHP is still investigating the crash but says the truck belonged to the private construction company doing road work in the area. On Thursday, San Joaquin County identified the private contractor as VSS International Inc.
“Trains just come by here 60/70 mph, it’s the ACE train, and you have freight trains and all kinds and a lot of them really go really fast,” Corsaro explained. “And I’m surprised in 30 years, this is the first one that we can remember actually happening.”
Corsaro says the crash was a somber start to his morning. He says while he doesn’t know the man who died, he feels for his family.
“I walked up on the tracks when I saw the mangled sweeper,” Corsaro said. “Just sorry for their loss. I mean, I don’t know what else to say. It’s horrible.”
The crash delayed that ACE train for a couple of hours before commuters were transferred to another train at the next stop.
CHP says there were no reports of injuries to anyone on the train.
FOX40 reached out to San Joaquin County for comment since it was construction being done on a county road, but they said county officials cannot comment on a pending investigation.