A train going about 50 miles per hour hit a trailer, killing nearly 30 cows around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The truck was transporting cattle from El Paso to a Lubbock feed lot on Southeast Drive and Olive. For the first time the truck driver, Rene Polanco, is speaking out about the accident. He tells KCBD his trailer high-centered on the tracks.
"I was tugging forward, tugging back. It wouldn't budge. It wouldn't do anything," Polanco said.
The more he tried nothing seemed to break his trailer free.
"I was looking for the guy at the Lubbock Feed yard. I honked my horn to see if anyone would hear me, but no one came out. And then I looked to my right. From far away, I saw the light," Polanco said.
The light was a train headed in his direction. Quickly Polanco says he dialed 911. While on the phone, moments before the train hit, he was able to get out of the cab and ran as far as he could.
Passersby couldn't believe their eyes.
"We don't see a car. Oh no, my god, there is a lot of cows!" a woman told 911.
The cab was stuck on one side with the trailer on the other. Out of the 86 cows, 34 died. Six of the dead were shot by LPD officers to put them out of their misery.
The surviving cattle were picked up by employees at the feed lot.
Not injured, Polanco says, the accident is unfortunate, but he is thankful he is alive.
"I'm sorry for the cows, but it was either them or me," he said.
There were crossings at the railroad track, but the truck was stuck there before the crossing even came down. Three trucks have been stuck on the track before, according to Polanco.
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