Here we have a dash-cam video from the Minnesota State Patrol. Recorded in St. Louis County, the footage was uploaded to YouTube as a helpful reminder that drivers should heed warning signals, and always look both ways before —— HOLY SHIT!
The video captures a scary moment from mid-January, when a semi-truck driver had just been released from a traffic stop. As he pulls back out onto the icy road, the driver moves ahead, slowly, approaching the train tracks directly in front of him.
There are four reasons why he should not be doing this. The driver is approaching a stop sign. Also, the lights are flashing red, indicating that there's a train coming. Third, the TRAIN IS IN FACT COMING, and is blasting its horn to try to tell him this.
Fourth, but not least, he's doing this right in front of a state trooper, who is recording the whole thing, but is helpless to stop it. Indeed, this same feeling will grip anyone who watches this tape: Surely he's not going to keep driving right into that train, the viewer thinks. Yes, viewer, he is.
It takes the patrolman, Sgt. Jeff Shay, a moment to process what he's just seen, and his next word is edited from the released audiotape. We're going to go with, "Shit."
The train dragged this truck about a quarter-mile before coming to a stop. The driver, a 67-year-old man from Iron, was lucky to get away with a laceration near his eye and nothing else. He was cited for failure to stop at a railroad crossing; no word if he plans to contest that citation, but this video looks pretty conclusive to us.
The Minnesota State Patrol used this crash footage to make a few points. Among them: You're probably not going to win your little race to the line — "the train is moving faster than you think," says the warning — and if you lose the race, you always, always lose the crash.