CAROLINE COUNTY, Va. - A logging truck that got stuck on train tracks off Penola Road in Caroline County is causing major headaches for East Coast train travel.
It all started in a matter of seconds, according to driver Bobby Collins, recalling the scene that flashed before his eyes.
“The guard arm came down and hung the skidder blades, and I said, 'Train coming, train coming, train coming,'” Collins said. “We all ran and heard, 'Bam!'"
He says he and his passengers are lucky to be alive.
“I went to cross over the track and the low boy bottomed out," Collins said.
The logger from Charles City County has been driving buses and big rigs for more than half a century.
Thursday afternoon’s crash was his closest, and most likely his costliest, call.
"The trailer is a mile and a half down the track,” Collins said. “The train pushed it that far before it could stop and we ran back. It flipped the truck around, tore off the engine and took the whole front end off the truck."
Both CSX and Amtrak workers are on location along with crane operators to clear the mangled mess.
The stretch of track services Washington D.C. south to Miami, and so that main thoroughfare for train travel came to a halt.
Crews were working into the night to get trains and schedules back on track.
As for whether the incident might prompt thoughts of retirement, Collins demurred.
“No sir. I'm gonna keep on driving once I get me another truck,” he said with a laugh.
Sources tell CBS6 an Amtrak train was already in transit and had to be stopped. It’s waiting now for things to be cleared out of the way.
There are also delays up and down the eastern seaboard.