Train and truck collide in Callahan

A passenger train carrying 243 people collided with semi-truck at 6:15 p.m. Monday at a railroad crossing near the intersection of C.R. 108 and Spurlock Lane in Callahan, according to a news release from the Florida Highway Patrol.

The release states no one was injured in the crash.

Robert Harris II, 36, Jacksonville, was driving a semi truck with a trailer in tow heading westbound along C.R. 108 at Spurlock Lane. Harris stopped at a railroad crossing that had its barrier arms in the down position, the release says.

FHP reported that when Harris observed a stopped train south of his location, he allegedly attempted to drive around the railroad-crossing barrier. As he drove around the barrier, an Amtrak passenger train traveling northbound collided with the rear portion of the trailer.

Harris was cited for driving around a railroad-crossing barrier. He was wearing a seatbelt during the crash and alcohol may have been a factor, according to FHP.

“Service was also delayed as local authorities investigated the incident,” Amtrak Spokeswoman Kimberly Woods wrote in an email to the Nassau County Record, the News-Leader’s sister paper. Woods noted the train resumed service at 8:25 p.m.

Woods stated in her email that the train involved is known as the Silver Meteor and travels daily between Miami and New York City.

Woods also offered some safety tips regarding railroad tracks:

• Report emergencies via toll-free number at every grade crossing;

• Avoid walking, biking or jogging on railroad tracks;

• Always stop at railroad crossings;

• Obey all warning signs and signals as trains may come from either direction on the same track at any time;

• Do not use headsets or cell phones near tracks to prevent proper hearing in the event a train is approaching;

• Trains are wider than tracks they utilize, standing too close could cause a person to get hit or dragged by a train;

• Do not drive around gates or crossing arms. It is illegal and can lead to large fines.

Woods wrote that, to report suspicious activity, individuals can reach the Amtrak Police Department at 800-331-0008. Individuals can also call 911 or send a text message to APD11.

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