Andy Jackson: Freedom Newspapers
BOVINA — The driver and passenger in a truck died Friday afternoon after the vehicle collided with a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train near U.S. 60, a mile north of Bovina.
The bodies of a male driver and a female passenger of the Peterbilt truck were located along the side of the tracks, 10 yards from each other, said Parmer County Sheriff Randy Geries.
Geries said he would not release the names of those killed until their families are notified.
The truck attempted to cross the tracks at a crossing monitored by a stop sign when a northbound BNSF train traveling at full speed hit the truck, Geries said.
Parts of the truck were scattered about a mile from the point of impact, Geries said.
The front of the truck hung on the face of the train and removal began around 6 p.m.
The train operators were “shook up” by the incident, Geries said.
Owned by Dee King Trucking LP of Friona, the driver delivered livestock to the Cargill meat-packing plant, dropped off the trailer at a nearby wash, and was returning to the shop, according to Dee King, owner of the trucking company.
King said he didn’t know the driver well.
“We were just acquaintances. We met two or three times,” he said.
King said it is the first time a truck from his company has been involved in an accident at the crossing. He feels the crossing is unsafe.
“I’d love to see some gates come up. It’s a dual track and trains can be running 75 miles per hour,” he said.
Geries agrees more warning at the crossing may be warranted.
The private crossing has been the location of many accidents and near misses, he said. “I see way too many.”
BNSF representatives at the scene refused comment.