Troup woman killed in crash into rail car - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Troup woman killed in crash into rail car

(Source: KLTV) (Source: KLTV)
(Source: KLTV) (Source: KLTV)

A fiery crash claimed the life of an East Texas woman and caused first responders to scramble to prevent another tragedy.

Around 11:45 p.m., Saturday, authorities say a 77-year old woman lost control of her vehicle on I-20, near Estes Parkway in Gregg County.

The car went off the road and then burst into flames. 

I-20 was closed down in both directions as first responders rushed to the scene where a car had run off the road, hit a parked train and burst into flames.

"We had pulled the train into a position and we had stopped it, and we had relieved the crew and we waiting for another crew," said Union Pacific
spokesperson Jeff DeGraf.

Longview police say 77-year-old Nelda Holland Cooper of Troup, was killed in the accident when for some unexplained reason she lost control of
her vehicle and swerved off the interstate.

Cooper lost control of her vehicle going off the road but in the median westbound. Traveling down the median she hit an embankment which took her straight down into a tanker car. 

"The driver struck one of the tank cars that was on the train. Hit the tank car and bounced away from it," DeGraf said.

Police say there was a danger from the burning car. The tanker car Cooper hit was carrying a flammable liquid, and taking no chances, fire crews doused it with foam.

"These were tank cars that did have some flammable liquids inside of them as they were identified. First responders were appropriate in their actions.

First responders were able to put the fire out," says DeGraf.

Though heavily damaged, the tanker car did not rupture or leak.

"Fortunately there were no breaches to the tank car it stayed intact. A tragic accident and of course our thoughts go out to the victim’s family,"
DeGraf said.

Longview police say an autopsy on the victim may be the only thing that can tell them what happened just before the crash.

The tank car that was damaged was taken out of service by Union Pacific.
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