Overton man calls for action after train smashes into car

OVERTON, TX (KLTV) - By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

OVERTON, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas man says something has to be done after a train smashed into his car. It happened at the railroad crossing on Henderson Road in Overton Wednesday afternoon.

Robert Mason escaped the crash unharmed, but says he was not properly warned of the approaching train. The train stopped in its tracks after crashing into Robert Mason's Lincoln Continental.

"I'm thinking, I hope it doesn't take me away," said Mason. "Every time it grabbed me it pulled the car, rocked and everything was scary. I'm not a brave person."

A terrifying event, Mason crosses the tracks every day. But Wednesday, he says he was caught off-guard.

"I didn't see or hear any signal until the bar started coming down, and by that time, the train was on top of me practically," said Mason. "There were cars behind me and I backed up as far as I could and had to sit in my car while it chewed the front of it off."

"He backed up but wasn't backed up far enough and the train barely clipped the front of his car, barely," said Alice Clary, a witness. "He was very lucky that the train did not run him over."

The Overton Police Department cited Mason for failure to yield the right-a-way to a train, but Mason claims something is wrong with the signal at this intersection.

"A car had hit it on Friday night," said Mason. "They replaced it Saturday and I'm figuring it's not working right."

Union Pacific said they inspected the signal after the crash and everything is working properly. They say a 20 second advance warning is required before the train comes. The railroad claims Mason was given that warning. Mason says the price he will pay is small compared to the safety of him and others.

"There's been four people I know killed in Overton, TX - kids mostly," said Mason. "There is something wrong here."

As this train rolls forward, Union Pacific urges drivers to be alert when the lights come on.

Union Pacific said the speed limit for trains passing through Overton is 55 miles-per-hour. They will inspect this incident to make sure the train was traveling the speed limit.

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