CALERA, Ala. (WIAT) — UPDATE: A Norfolk Southern train hit an 18-wheeler in Calera Wednesday morning, sending two people to the hospital and shutting down Highway 25 just South of Shelby County Road 42.
A single lane of Highway 25 reopened after noon, but crews on scene said they expect to be on scene working to repair the train tracks into Thursday, so traffic delays are expected.
Calera Fire Chief Sean Kendrick said it’s amazing that the truck driver escaped with his life. Deputy Chief Hilton Shirey shared photos of the wreckage with CBS 42.
Calera Train Crash
The truck driver was trapped inside what was left of the semi for about an hour before first responders were able to extricate him.
The fire chief said the driver was taken to the hospital with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries.
A witness who lives nearby said he heard the crash.
“I heard the train coming. It always comes through about 8 or 8:30 in the morning. About that time I heard it lay on the horn one time real, real long. It ain’t like it usually does. I heard the explosion. I heard it holler and screaching, and then, man, I looked and there was dust and I heard the big engine up on the front, I heard it roll off the side,” said Heath Phillips.
Phillips said he dialed 911 and went to see if there was anything he could do to help.
“When I was on the tracks I seen the rear axle and I was able to tell 911 that it hasn’t just derailed, it actually hit a truck. But as bad mangled as it was, my uncle said he seen it. He said the cab looked like it was about 4 foot wide. He said he doesn’t know how it didn’t kill the guy. He was supposed to die,” said Phillips.
Another person who authorities indicated was on board the train was also taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
According to Norfolk Southern, the crash derailed two engines and five rail cars. They say the emergency signal at the railroad crossing was working during the time of the accident.
ORIGINAL: First responders are on the scene of a train collision involving an 18-wheeler in Calera on Hwy 25 near Fire Station 3.
The Calera Fire Chief tell CBS 42 the driver of the tractor trailer was trapped, but firefighters were able to remove him from the vehicle. He suffered minor injuries.
Highway 25 will remain closed indefinitely as crews work to clear the scene; the train derailed after hitting the 18 wheeler.
Stay with us for updates on this developing news.