A Sedgwick County sheriff’s deputy pulled the driver of a cement truck to safety this morning a minute or two before a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train smashed into the truck.
A sheriff’s spokesman said the truck rolled over on the tracks near 47th Street South and K-15 in south Wichita at 9:45 a.m. Deputies found the driver pinned inside the vehicle, and conscious.
They also noticed a train was approaching at about 35 miles per hour.
Some deputies began driving parallel to the tracks trying to get the engineer to stop the train, said sheriff’s Lt. Brad Hoch. Others tried to relay word to the railroad company through its dispatcher about what was happening.
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“You could hear voices saying, ‘It’s coming pretty quick,’ ” Hoch said.
Finally, Deputy John Scaglione was able to pull the driver through the front windshield, Hoch said.
“He said, ‘I could literally hear the train coming,’ ” Hoch said. “It is very heroic what he did. He didn’t think twice about what he was doing.”
The 35-year-old driver from Wichita was taken to Wesley Medical Center with shoulder injuries, cuts and abrasions. His name has not been released yet.
An investigation is under way to determine why the truck rolled over, Hoch said.
The collision was loud. Deputies determined that the train consisted of 48 cars and weighed about 4,000 tons.