The driver of a truck narrowly escaped serious injury Tuesday evening when his truck was struck by a train after he became impatient and drove around a guard arm in an attempt to reach a construction yard 50 yards away, Union Pacific police said.
A witness, a woman who was waiting in the car behind the O.C. Jones and Sons construction truck in the east bound lane, told Berkeley police that the driver suddenly pulled out and drove around the barrier and the vehicle was immediately struck.
Police said the front of the truck was smashed and the truck was thrown approximately 50 feet spewing hammers, shovels and jackhammers along the tracks.
The driver, Pedro Martinez, a long time employee of O.C. Jones and Sons General Engineering and Construction, Inc., at 1520 Fourth St., appeared to be from bleeding from the hand, but was able to walk, police said.
“He was walking and could talk but he seemed to be dazed,” a traffic officer said.
Martinez was rushed to Alameda County Medical Center where hospital officials said he was in stable condition and would likely be kept overnight for observation.
Union Pacific police officer Bob Oliver said the Amtrak train bound for Oakland from Chicago was held up for an hour while authorities conducted an investigation of the accident scene.
Cedar Street between Second and Fifth streets were blocked off to traffic for an hour as well.