That’s what I kept saying in my car.
It was a terrifying experience for me and I wasn’t directly involved. I had a front row seat to a near train disaster.
As it unfolded time stood still. Everything was in slow motion. I (and everyone else watching it) was frozen unable to help. There was nothing to do but hope.
A big tractor-trailer rig (very big) turned very slowly from a side street onto a main road. It was a tight turn. The driver had to clear light standards and cars.
There are railroad tracks on the main road at the turn. The cab of the rig was on the tracks when the warning lights started flashing and the guard rails came down signaling an approaching train. Once that happens there are a few seconds before the train comes through. Not much time. I don’t know how much because it was all in slow motion. Very slow motion.
The trailer part of the truck hadn’t yet crossed the track. The whole rig was in a position that looks a little jack knifed with the cab at a sharp angle from the trailer.
The driver crashed the guard rail and continued through slowly. He had no choice. I silently said a prayer for that driver.
At this point the intersection was out of my vision. I was a half block away. I heard the train and didn’t hear a crash so the driver must have made it safely. He literally had seconds to clear the tracks.
Had the train hit the rig it would have swung it around striking cars that were trapped in line. No one but the driver could do anything. A call to 911 would not change the outcome.
I was reminded how helpless you feel when you have no control and how precious life is.
This happened a week ago and I am extremely cautious crossing those tracks. It’s not only my actions. I could be affected by someone else’s actions. A less experienced truck driver may have panicked. I was panicking in my car and was not in direct danger.
It’s a life lesson that we learn over and over again. Each time it happens it sticks with us a little more. Or maybe that is a factor of maturity.
Life is precious and fragile. Go hug someone you love.