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Truck driver narrowly escapes train collision, moment caught on camera

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(NEW YORK) — The driver of an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer is lucky to be alive after he narrowly escaped a massive collision with an oncoming train outside Atlanta this week.

The incident, which was captured on video, happened early Tuesday morning off Allatoona Road near Interstate 75 in Bartow County, Georgia.

Zack Hatcher was right behind the tractor-trailer that had stalled on train tracks and first shared the video with ABC Atlanta station WSB-TV.

In his video, the blaring of train horns can be heard as the railroad crossing arms lower and a man is seen hopping out of the driver’s side of the truck, making a run for it moments before the train made impact.

Debris flies as the trailer tumbles over, and Hatcher, who was not too far from the incident, has to back up his own car to avoid being hit.

The train eventually comes to a stop and Hatcher climbs between two of the train cars to go check on the truck driver, who appears miraculously unharmed.

“The engineer and conductor both stated that they could see the truck stopped on the tracks — they started breaking as soon as they saw the truck, but they were not able to stop in time,” Capt. Lisa Fuller of the City of Emerson Police Department told ABC News.

Authorities said this marks the eighth documented incident at this same train crossing since 2017, but the first collision, and the driver left with a citation for driving a vehicle over a railroad crossing with insufficient space to drive completely through the crossing without stopping.

“There were no injuries — thankfully,” Fuller confirmed. “There’s been incidents before where the the drivers weren’t able to get out of the vehicles.”

Authorities said other trucks have stalled at that same location in the past, due to the turning radius near the tracks. Some trucks cannot clear it, but none have gotten stuck on the tracks before this accident, they said.

Roadside service provider AAA shared some additional tips for drivers near train crossings:

– Slow down when crossing train tracks.
– Never stop on the train tracks or between the down gate and tracks.
– Ensure there is room on the other side of the tracks before crossing.
– Obey all signals, lights, bells and gates.
– Do not drive around a gate that is down.
– Be aware of your surroundings.
– Listen for trains, train whistles and warning bells.
– Look for trains, stopped vehicles, lowered gates and warning lights.
– Avoid distractions when driving.

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