Sheriff on truck/train crash: Man “lucky to be alive after irresponsible behavior”

A rural LaPorte County man was hospitalized with serious injuries after colliding with a train on Holmesville Road, about five miles south of Michigan City.

The collision happened around 8:00 a.m. Central time on Sunday, June 25, according to the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies arrived on scene to find the driver, a 27-year-old man, pulled from his truck by a passerby, according to the sheriff’s department.

A witness was waiting at the crossing for the train to pass told a deputy that the driver went around him, did not brake and drove into the side of a train car, the sheriff’s department reported.

The crossing gates were down at the time and the lights were flashing.

The pickup truck was knocked approximately 50 yards from Holmesville Road after striking a tanker car hauling oil which was traveling at 50 miles per hour.

The driver was transported to a Michigan City hospital in serious condition with a broken arm, broken ribs and a punctured lung.

A preliminary test indicated the man’s blood alcohol level at .28%.

The driver has been cited the drive for disregarding the crossing signal and faces likely charges for operating while intoxicated.

LaPorte County Sheriff John Boyd commented on the incident, saying, “It is very concerning to us that this is the second time in a little over two weeks that a driver has disregarded the crossing gates. Even more troubling is the fact that the driver in today’s crash was three-and-a-half-times the limit to operate a vehicle on the road and at 8 a.m. no less. This type of irresponsible behavior leads to exactly what we see the morning; a young man who is luck to be alive.”