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STANWOOD, WA – Early Thursday morning at about 1:40 am, a stolen Chevy pickup truck crashed into a freight train at the rail crossing at 48th Avenue NW in Stanwood, Washington. The area is in the western part of the state, about 50 miles north of Seattle. The driver of the stolen truck remains missing as police piece together the mystery. The street where the accident occurred is also known as Valde Road.

Investigators examine the twisted wreckage of a pickup that crashed into a moving train in Stanwood, WA early Thursday morning.

According to a spokesman from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway, the pickup truck that hit the freight train was apparently stolen from a local Stanwood business. The BNSF is investigating the incident…

The freight car that was involved in the accident was an empty propane tanker. After the initial impact at the rail crossing, the train rolled northwest about a mile before coming to a stop near Miller Road where the tanker car derailed.

When investigators checked survivors in the wreckage of the truck, there was no driver was behind the wheel. There was no sign of trauma, and the keys were still in the ignition.

The presence of the keys in the ignition was a complete mystery to the owner of the stolen truck because she claims that they have the only set that exists (please see below). The owner of the truck runs a farming business near Stanwood.

Location of the train and truck accident at the rail crossing at 48th Avenue NW in Stanwood, Washington

KIRO, Seattle 7 Eyewitness News has a video where local news reporter, Gary Horcher, explains that the the truck’s gas pedal was weighed down by a rock or a heavy brick, then hit the accelerator and rammed the truck on purpose into the oncoming train.

Judy Pederson, the owner of the pickup truck, who runs a cattle farm a few miles away, said that her truck was locked and was stolen from her farm shortly after midnight. The thief used it to spin doughnuts through muddy fields and investigators tell her that it was intentionally rammed into the side of a moving train.

She was told by investigators that something was put on the accelerator and it was put into gear and they released the emergency brake and it went into the train by itself at about 50 or 60 mph.

The truck slammed into the propane tanker and it was dragged down the tracks a whole mile. Detectives found a key inside the ignition, which confuses Pederson because she says she has the only set of keys (which she showed the news reporter – see the video). She said, “These keys were not in the truck … how did they get they get the keys to run the truck?”

The accident will be investigated by local detectives and special agents from the railroad. Snohomish County Sheriff’s Lt. John Flood said that railroads are governed under federal law, emphasizing that interfering with the track could bring federal charges.

Gordon and Elias are Nationwide FELA Lawyers and truck accident lawyers representing truck injury victims and railroad worker injuries. Contact a Washington FELA lawyer or Washington truck accident attorney if you or a loved one have been injured.

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