A Tyler woman was flown by helicopter to a local hospital after her vehicle was struck by a train.
The accident happened at the railroad crossing at Front Street in Troup. DPS confirmed the victim is 36-year-old Cynthia Strandberg of Tyler. Troopers say she went around the crossing arms to enter the tracks. Officials determined that the vehicle was in reverse at the time of the collision.
"Doing an inspection on the vehicle, the trooper did notice the vehicle was in reverse," said DPS Trooper Jean Dark
A Department of Public Safety trooper says the vehicle, a black SUV, was pushed at least half a mile down the tracks. There was only one person in the vehicle and the victim was airlifted to East Texas Medical Center in Tyler. She was last listed in critical condition.
A witness says he saw a woman being pulled from the vehicle and loaded into the helicopter.
"After I got suspicious with emergency vehicles and traffic I drove down here just to make sure there wasn't a danger with a fertilizer plant right there, and everything appeared to be safe as far as that goes, and after that I just tried to see if there was anything I could do to help and there really wasn't," said Michael Murphy, an employee at a nearby fertilizer plant.
According to Union Pacific Railroad, the train was northbound on the track, headed to Little Rock, AR. The crew said that they sounded the whistle to warn the driver before the crash. Officials say that there are flashing signals with arms at the crossing and the signals appeared to be working at the time of the crash.
The last accident at this intersection occurred in September 1976 when an 80-car Missouri Pacific Railroad train struck an unoccupied vehicle. There were no injuries in that incident.
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