Driving an articulated lorry isn't easy. Towing oversized loads is a greater challenge. And then you have something extremely long like wind turbine blades that require the equivalent space of a football field to make a basic turn. Getting stuck in the wrong place with such a load can make for a very tough day. If that place includes a railroad track, it can be a nightmare.
That's exactly what happened to this driver on August 29 in the small town of Luling, Texas USA. The semi truck was towing what looks like a single blade for a large wind turbine when it ran into trouble trying to negotiate a right turn at a railroad track. Video of the incident has since gone viral, though the original source appears to be Jon Throgmorton on Facebook, embedded below. Be advised, there is strong language in the clip but honestly, if we watched a speeding freight train smash into a huge propeller blade right in front of us, we'd have some choice words of our own.
The truck was turning right from US 90 onto US 183 in downtown Luling at approximately 2:30 p.m., according to Fox 7 Austin news. It appears the truck was having difficulty clearing the railroad signal when the signal activated for an approaching train. At the last second, the driver floors the throttle to clear the track, apparently deciding some minor damage to the signal and turbine blade would be better than a train crash. Unfortunately, the decision was too late; the train slammed the backside of the blade, snapping it and ultimately rolling the truck on its side. The news report says the train sustained damage as well.
It's unclear why the oversized load was on this particular route. Difficult shipments usually have routes planned ahead of time and are confirmed to be free of obstacles. In cases where routes cross railroad tracks, schedules are coordinated to make sure the track is clear for a good amount of time when the truck arrives, just in case problems arise. There were obviously some failures on this particular trip, but at least everyone came through without injuries.