Two Dead, Several Injured in Collision Between TRE Train and Dump Truck

The incident is the first multi-fatality crash in TRE history

Two people are dead following a collision between a TRE train and a dump truck in Far East Fort Worth Saturday afternoon.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office website revealed both victims' names as 50-year-old Charlene Alexander and 49-year-old Arnell Tolliver. 

The crash took place at a crossing along Calloway Cemetery Road, along a thin section of Fort Worth that runs between the Arlington and Euless borders.

"I was just holding on tight worried it was going to come off the rails," said train passenger Aaron Gillespie.

Gillespie said he was on the train's second level. He quickly went down to the first when he thought the train might catch fire. That's where he realized the true damage.

"There were people on the floor, people with glass cuts. The truck knocked the windows and the frame of the window in. There was one guy seriously injured," Gillespie said.

Arlington police confirmed two people inside the truck were killed in the crash. Medstar said it transported 11 patients to area hospitals, two of them in critical condition. Thirty others were released after being checked out at a nearby parking lot, according to DART.

DART said witnesses told authorities they saw the railroad crossings arm lowered before the dump truck drove onto the tracks.

Officials said the train conductor attempted to apply the brakes before impact, but did not have enough time to stop. The train continued about one quarter of a mile down the tracks after it collided with the truck.

While officials still don't know how fast the train was traveling at the point of impact, DART said the speed limit along that portion of track is 79 mph.

A spokesman added that the crossing begins to signal an oncoming train 47 seconds before it arrives.

"Our trains do not take more than a few seconds to get through an intersection. There is nothing -- nothing -- on the other side of that intersection that is worth risking your life," DART spokesman Morgan Lyons said.

At this specific crossing, Lyons said the arms are designed to be easy to get through. 

"Those arms are actually designed so that you can drive under them. The reason for that is so that if you get there at the wrong time, you can actually get out. You're not locked in," Lyons said.

Police said their investigation into the crash is ongoing.

DART said the crash is affecting TRE operations between the Centerport and Bell stations. A shuttle bus will help passengers get between the two stations for the time being.

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