2 Horses and Dog Killed
Today at approximately 7:20 am, Yavapai County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a reported train vs. vehicle accident on Verde Ranch Road at the RR crossing in Paulden, AZ. This crossing does not have gate controls and uses signage to warn drivers and pedestrians. Upon arrival, deputies saw that a 2 stall horse trailer had been struck by a BNSF freight train. YCSO Animal Control officers were already on scene preparing an injured dog for transportation to a local animal hospital. Deputies learned that 2 horses and another dog were killed in the collision with the train.
The driver, a 71-year-old Paulden resident, told deputies he did not see the train, nor did he hear a train horn, as he crossed the tracks towing a horse trailer. He added that the vision from his vehicle was limited because the windows were iced over. Although his truck made it across the tracks, the horse trailer did not and was struck by the train's leading locomotive. The impact dislodged the trailer from the truck hitch pushing it along the tracks. He was not injured and the truck received only minor damage.
The train crew verified a horn was sounded prior to approaching the crossing as required, but the truck continued over the tracks regardless. The crew initiated an emergency stop system and continued to sound the horn. The truck made it across, but the horse trailer was still centered over the track and struck by the leading locomotive which carried it along the tracks. The train contained 3 front end locomotives, over 80 cars full of grain, and a rear locomotive.
The driver was cited for failure to stop at a RR crossing. BNSF investigators also arrived at the scene to gather evidence, statements, and recorded data from the locomotive.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov