Brownwood police: Driver ‘lucky to be alive’ after being hit by train

Brownwood police say an 81-year-old man is lucky to be alive after his truck was hit by a train.

Brownwood police say the driver of a pickup truck is “lucky to be alive” after his truck was hit by a train Wednesday morning.

The driver and a witness have conflicting stories about what happened.

Utah Baldwin, 81, said he did not see the train coming until it was too late. But a witness said Baldwin tried to beat the train across the tracks.

"I didn't see that... so I just kept on going and next thing I knew I was getting [hit by the train] and it started dragging me down the track," Baldwin said.

Around 10 a.m., Baldwin’s white Chevy 2500 was hit by a BNSF train at Main Street and Coleman/Carnegie Streets . Baldwin said his truck rolled multiple times as the train dragged it 50 feet before stopping.

Steve Smith witnessed the accident and told KTXS the gates were down at the railroad crossing and that Baldwin went around them.

"I don't know if he didn't hear the train or whatever, but he just went around the barriers and went right in front of the train," Smith said.

The truck was totaled. But Baldwin was not hurt.

Smith said Baldwin is lucky he wasn't seriously hurt.

"[The train] was going to suck him up underneath," Smith said. "It flipped him around and hit the back of his truck."

Baldwin doesn't agree with Smith's account of what happened and said he didn't see see the crossing gate or train.

"If that pole had been out there, I would've stopped. But I didn't see that red pole... I'm sure it wasn't down," Baldwin said.

Police said Baldwin will not be cited because of the conflicting stories about what happened.

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