Passengers on board a Trinity Railway Express train described a harrowing experience when their train struck a dump truck in Far East Fort Worth Saturday. Two people in the truck were killed in a fiery impact, while 11 passengers on board the train were injured.
About two dozen passengers who were shaken up, but not seriously hurt, walked down the tracks to a nearby underpass, where firefighters and EMTs set up a triage.
The most seriously injured all rode on the lower level of the train, witnesses said. The passenger cars have two levels.
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Jason Gladden and his son, Trey, were on the upper level.
"A split second before we hit it, I knew we were going to hit it," said Gladden of the truck. "Because I could see it on the tracks."
And then it happened.
"A big fireball went past our window," he said. "I heard an explosion."
The Gladdens were traveling from Victory Station in Dallas to Fort Worth. They never made it to their destination.
"It was like one of those near-death experiences," Gladden said. "With all the fire and smoke, you didn't know if the train was going to catch on fire, derail."
The train stopped about a quarter mile after impact.
"There was people screaming and hollering. There was smoke," said Aaron Gillespie, another passenger. "I thought the train was on fire, so I went down to the first floor, but couldn't open the doors."
"I was scared. I never been in something like that before," said passenger Tyrone Gray. "Just looking at the train, I was like, 'Wow.' I'm just thankful."
Passengers who were not seriously hurt were taken to a nearby business, Rick's Cabaret, where they were given water and treated mainly for bumps and bruises.
For Gladden -- a scary ride, and a change of plans.
"We're gonna go back to our vehicle in Dallas and have a low-key evening," he said.