Driver survives crash involving train in Lake City

US-441 in downtown Lake City closed for hours

Courtesy: Lake City Fire Department Facebook page
Courtesy: Lake City Fire Department Facebook page

LAKE CITY, Fla. – A pickup truck driver walked away uninjured from a crash involving a train in Lake City Wednesday afternoon.

The crash was reported just after 2 p.m. on U.S. 441 at the railroad tracks in downtown Lake City.

According to the Lake City Police Department, Bobby Ray Speights drove around the railroad crossing arm, which had just lowered and had flashing lights, but as he tried to maneuver around the set of arms, his truck stopped for an unknown reason just before being struck by the train. 

The driver was not injured, police said.

Investigators said the train was already in the process of stopping for the depot just past the intersection where it was going to swap cars with another locomotive. 

“Most of the time when a train hits a vehicle at a crossing, it is a very bad crash,” police Chief Argatha Gilmore said. “Had the train not already been traveling at a low speed and preparing to stop, this crash could have been much worse. The driver was extremely lucky to be able to walk away from this crash unharmed.”

Police said Speights was found to be at fault for the crash and was issued a citation for failure to obey a rail-crossing barrier. 

U.S. 441 was closed for about two hours and reopened before 5 p.m. Wednesday.