The driver of a pickup who collided with a BNSF Railway train Monday morning in Washougal was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
Camas-Washougal Fire Department Battalion Chief Greg Payne said the driver was likely ejected from the vehicle.
Firefighters were dispatched at 6:23 a.m. for a report of a crash involving a train. Police officers also responded.
The vehicle crashed on the train tracks at Third Street, just north of C Street, in Washougal, Payne said. It was pushed about 75 feet down the tracks, he said.
The Camas Police Department said in a news release later Monday morning the crash happened at the crossing on Southeast Whitney Street (Third Street).
“Arriving units discovered a small truck was traveling southbound on Southeast Whitney Street when it collided with a westbound (BNSF Railway) train,” the news release says.
The driver, the truck’s only occupant, was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver with life-threatening injuries. Police identified the driver as a 55-year-old man but did not provide his name.
BNSF Railway spokesman Gus Melonas said the driver struck the side of the train, which was carrying grain and destined for Seattle. The train was minimally damaged and delayed for about three hours; none of its operators were injured, Melonas said.
Police are investigating the cause of the crash but noted it appears that all of the implemented safety equipment near the tracks was functioning at the time. Payne said it is unknown what led up to the crash.
Whitney Street was closed for several hours.