Updated at 12:56 p.m.
By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
A pickup truck pulling a trailer that stalled on the railroad tracks in Napavine last night met up with the lead locomotive of a freight train.
Nobody was hurt, and the husband, wife and their dogs were out the vehicle before the train arrived, according to Napavine Police Chief Chris Salyers.
Responders said the truck was knocked to one side of the tracks and trailer loaded with a small tractor was thrown upside down into ditch on the other side. It happened on Washington Avenue near the fire station.
Firefighters responded around 5:30 p.m., when they saw what was happening, according to Lewis County Fire District 5.
“We heard the vehicle spinning their wheels, we ran toward that, we could hear the train coming,” fire department spokesperson Lt. Laura Hanson said.
Hanson said there was a handful of people trying to get the rig unstuck, and firefighters got them to move back out of the way. She could already see the headlights of the train coming down the tracks, Hanson said. They asked dispatch to notify personnel on the train to try to stop, she said.
“It all happened rather quickly,” Hanson said.
BNSF spokesperson Gus Melonas indicated there was some damage to the locomotive. Salyers said he is continuing his investigation this morning.
What caused the Napavine area couple to be stopped on the tracks he did not know yet, Salyers said.
The tracks and road were closed for awhile, Salyers said. Firefighters remained on the scene helping clear debris until nearly 10:30 p.m., according to Hanson.
Firefighters were relieved nobody got hurt, Hanson said.
It’s something she hopes doesn’t happen again, but offers this advice for anyone whose vehicle gets stuck on train tracks:
The first call should be to 911, Hanson said.
“The quicker that call goes out, the quicker the railroad is called,” she said. “And they can attempt to get the train stopped.”