Auburn man injured in Kent after truck collides with train

By Steve Hunter

A 46-year-old Auburn man suffered minor injuries after the tow truck he was driving collided with an Amtrak train in downtown Kent.

The collision occurred at 5:57 p.m. Tuesday at the West Smith Street railroad crossing, according to a Kent Police media release.

The train was traveling southbound on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks. Witnesses told police that the tow truck traveling eastbound on Smith Street bypassed the lowering traffic control gates at the intersection and onto the crossing in an attempt to clear the tracks. The train then entered the crossing and the train and truck collided.

The first police and fire responders were at the crossing within 2 minutes of the incident. They found the truck driver standing alongside the tracks with minor injuries. Paramedics transported the man to a local hospital for further treatment.

As with other rail crossings through the downtown, the Smith Street crossing is equipped with large, light-reflective gates, as well as red flashing signals and audible bells, said Kent Police Sgt. Jarod Kasner.

Kasner said that once the warning lights start flashing, vehicles and pedestrians are required to stop at the marked stop lines and clear the tracks. Movement across the tracks after the warning signals are activated is prohibited and dangerous.

"Tonight (Tuesday), all those who were involved were very fortunate," Kasner said.

The area around the rail crossing was closed while law enforcement and train officials conducted their investigation.

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