Second train crash

The front of a San Joaquin Valley Railroad locomotive suffered minor damage after smashing into a silage truck. (Seth Nidever/The Sentinel)

HANFORD — A silage truck collided with a freight train in eastern Kings County Monday at 3:50 p.m., leaving the truck driver with minor injuries.

The mishap, just north of Grangeville Boulevard on an access road to DeGroot Family Farms, came just hours after an Amtrak train collided with a semi between Hanford and Corcoran and derailed, sending several people to area hospitals.

“It’s nuts,” said CHP Officer Bryan Savage, who was at both accident scenes on Monday. “At any time, this could happen.”

The unnamed silage truck driver was taken by ambulance to a Fresno hospital, Savage said.

The driver was crossing the tracks southbound as a westbound San Joaquin Valley Railroad freight train struck the front of the truck, demolishing the front end and narrowly missing the cab. The force of the collision knocked the truck sideways, leaving a trail of twisted fender pieces and other truck parts strewn several yards west along the side of side of the tracks.

The driver sustained a large cut to the front of his scalp.

“He’s lucky,” Savage said. “He basically had the front end of his truck over the tracks. If he had been a little bit more forward, it would have been a lot worse.”

Savage estimated the truck was going less than 15 mph and the train was traveling 20-30 mph. He said no alcohol or drugs were involved, meaning the driver likely misjudged the train’s distance and speed.

The front of the locomotive, which came to a stop about 40 yards from the impact site, was slightly damaged.

The truck was delivering feed to a DeGroot family dairy on the south side of Grangeville Boulevard at the time of the accident.

The reporter can be reached at 583-2432 or

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