Train backs into vehicle in Kennewick; 3 injured

By the Tri-City HeraldOctober 9, 2012 

A man was seriously injured late Monday when the SUV he was riding in was hit by a train in east Kennewick.

At about 9:15 p.m. at Highway 397 and East Bruneau Avenue, a train was backing up when the SUV tried to cross the tracks. The train reportedly was going slowly but still managed to move the SUV across two lanes of traffic and pinned one of the three passengers inside as rescue workers struggled to get him out.

The male driver got out of the car after the accident, and a female passenger was rescued soon after with minor injuries. The third passenger appeared to have a broken leg and other injuries and was taken to Kennewick General Hospital, said Vince Beasley, Kennewick Fire Battalion chief.

The SUV was traveling south on Highway 397, also known as Gum Sreet, when it crossed the track. The train was backing up eastbound, and flaggers and other personnel were nearby, according to the Kennewick Police Department. The passenger side of the SUV was pinned under the car.

After more than 45 minutes of trying to rescue the male passenger, workers brought in a tow truck, which moved the SUV enough to allow them to get the man from the vehicle.

The accident caused Highway 397 at Columbia Drive to be closed as of 10:30 p.m.

No names were available late Monday.

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