At 9:40AM, a vehicle versus train collision occurred at Buhach and Sante Fe Avenues in Atwater. An automobile, operated by Brian Del Guidice, 52 of Atwater, drove around the deployed crossing arms and other stopped vehicles and was struck by a freight train operated by the Burlington Northern Sante Fe railroad. There are dual train tracks at this crossing, and another train was stopped already. Del Guidice told Atwater Police that he thought that the stopped train had activated the crossing arms and believed that it was safe to go around the crossing arms. Del Guidice was transported to Mercy Hospital with a complaint of pain but had no significant visible injuries. No one on the BNSF train was injured. The Atwater Police Department and the BNSF Police are working together on this investigation.
It is a violation of the California Vehicle Code to drive around a deployed railway crossing arm, but more importantly it is a violation of the laws of inertia. Today’s collision was unusual, tragedy usually occurs, both to the driver and passengers in the automobile, and to the conductors and passengers in the train. Whether you are a driver or a pedestrian, NEVER go around a deployed railway crossing arm.