Train plows into semi-trailer stuck on tracks in Wingate; truck driver arrested

WINGATE, N.C. — It happened again. Another semi-trailer truck got stuck on the train tracks in Wingate, and it led to an inevitable boom Thursday afternoon.

Channel 9 got the report about the truck stuck on the tracks at S. Main Street.

A video shared by a viewer on Twitter showed the truck before a train enters the frame and collides into the side of the trailer. The collision ends up shearing the truck’s trailer in half.

“It sounded like it was just very forceful. You saw dust fly everywhere. What I assume to be bricks got scattered across the tracks,” Wingate student Malik Jordan told Channel 9.

Jordan said he was picking up pizza near the North Main Street Railroad when a CSX train hit a truck stuck on the tracks.

“The second I came out, I look to my right and saw there was a truck on the tracks. I was amazed. I was like ‘Oh goodness, I can’t believe this is happening again,’” Jordan said.

No injuries have been reported at this time.

The Union County Sheriff’s Office said the truck wasn’t carrying hazardous materials. It was hauling bricks.

However, the driver of the truck, Patrick Rainey, was arrested after drugs were found in the truck’s cab.

Police have not said if this has anything to do with why the truck got stuck on the track, to begin with.

This isn’t the first time a train has slammed into a stuck truck. It happened earlier this year in January when two trucks got hit at the same crossing within a week.

In response, the town of Wingate approved a plan to prevent train crashes. Mayor Garry Hamill said they happen because the grade on the track is too high for certain trucks to pass through.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation proposed changes to both the North Main Street and Bivens Street crossings at a town meeting in March. NCDOT suggested lowering the grade of the railroad crossing and adding sidewalks. That fix would cost over a million dollars.

People in Union said they are at their wit’s end with an issue that brings this area to a halt more times than they can count.

“You can’t get across the tracks. [Highway] 74 is almost inaccessible at this point when we have this happening consistently. The whole town is just kind of rolling their eyes at it at this point,” delivery driver Brad Lacroix said.

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