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Wednesday, June 19 2013 8:36 AM EDT2013-06-19 12:36:26 GMT
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LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -
Authorities are calling it a miracle. An 18-wheeler crashed into a train while children were playing nearby. Amazingly, no one was injured.
This happened just before 10 a.m. on Loop 281 and Farm to Market Road 2087 in Longview.
The driver of the 18-wheeler thought he could make it across train tracks before the train reached him; the cab cleared the tracks, but his trailer carrying steel beams was struck.
"You know, a chance was taken that didn't turn out well. So, we caution people with railroad tracks I mean, it's not worth taking that chance," said Johnny Zackery, the Longview Fire Marshal.
Elbert Johnson and his wife live just on the other side of the railroad tracks. Their grandchildren were playing outside at the time of the accident. The fire marshal said it is a miracle that the children were not injured by the crash or the steel beams that came flying off the trailer.
"So, we started telling the kids to go up, and the kids were running and screaming up to the house. The next thing you know, you hear a big boom," explained 12-year-old Meshebia, one of the older children playing in the front yard.
"We were packing all the kids and trying to get them all the way down there so they wouldn't get hit at all," said Johnson's granddaughter,10-year-old Alyssa.
Hearing the crash, Johnson ran outside.
"I go looking for my kids, I'm trying to get a head count on my kids," Johnson explained.
Fortunately, the driver of the truck and his grandchildren were not injured.
"I know it's a miracle," Johnson said.
It is an accident that gave his visiting family enough of a scare to put a damper on their holiday plans.
"My kids can't come home and be safe. I've got two of them in there now talking about going and finding a motel room and making other arrangements for the holidays, and I can't blame them," Johnson said.
He has lived here for more than twenty years and says he has seen accidents like this happen before.
"This is not the first time, no where near the first time," he explained.