Slow-moving train crashes into car in Orlando

News 6 reporter, photographer call for emergency assistance

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - A man was transported to a hospital Thursday night after his car was hit by a train as he tried to turn onto North Orange Blossom Trail.

News 6 reporter Erik Sandoval and photojournalist Alex Cook were on their way to another story when they witnessed the crash, and they immediately called 911 and pulled over to help the injured driver. Other drivers also pulled over to help.

"Unlock the door, baby. Are you hurt?" they asked the driver, who appeared to be confused about what happened.

All of the car's airbags deployed and the back window was blown out.

"It was a pretty strong impact. I said, 'Holy cow, is this really happening?'" Richard Chandler said.

He and his wife said they also watched as the sedan moved slowly across the railroad tracks, right into the path of the oncoming, slow-moving train.

"I walked up to the side of the car to make sure he was OK. People were telling him to stay put, and I was worried about the car breaking out in fire or something," he said. "The music was super loud, and we had to kind of shout to get his attention."

The Orlando Fire Department transported the driver to a local hospital.

The crossing where the crash occurred did not have gates that came down, and railroad crossing signs and the actual train tracks were the only warning in the driveway that leads to a self-storage facility.

Florida Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Olson told News 6 he's unsure if that will change. He said it's up to the railroad -- Florida Central Railroad -- to determine how they will warn people at each intersection.

If it's on private property, it may be up to the property owner.

Florida Central Railroad did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

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