Midland, TX – A Midland County sheriff’s deputy was struck by a train as he was rushing to help save an infant on Tuesday (video below).
Two deputies were responding to a call of a baby who was “not breathing” when the harrowing collision occurred at approximately 11 a.m., Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter told KTBC.
“They were doing everything they could to get to the child and help out the family,” Sheriff Painter explained to KMID.
Both deputies had their patrol vehicle lights and sirens activated as they raced to the scene, but they were ultimately intercepted by a slow-moving train, cell phone footage showed.
As the final train cars passed in front of him, the first deputy proceeded around the crossing arms, then rapidly accelerated.
But as he began to cross the track, a second train on a parallel track that had been hidden by the first train suddenly barreled into his Chevrolet Tahoe, the video showed.
He never saw the train coming, Sheriff Painter told the Midland Reporter-Telegram.
“They pulled forward to go through and another train [was] going the opposite direction traveling at a high rate of speed...they did not see the train and it struck them,” the sheriff explained to KMID.
The force of the impact dragged the patrol SUV down the tracks a short distance, then flipped it down a slight embankment, the video showed.
“You just heard a loud bang,” witness Mike Lopez told KMID. “I mean, you saw the sirens coming and you saw both trains going back and forth but I don't even think he saw it.”
Other motorists waiting at the train crossing jumped out of their vehicles and ran to help the injured deputy, who was ultimately extracted from the SUV through the windshield, KTBC reported.
Sheriff Painter said that the deputy was “banged up,” but was “walking and talking” after the near-fatal crash, the Midland Reporter-Telegram reported.
He was rushed to a local hospital with bruising across his body, but his injuries were considered to be fairly minor, according to KTBC.
“When I got the call that he had been hit by a train and there was head injuries, everything runs through your head,” Sheriff Painter told KOSA. “You just, you pray for the best, but you expect for the worst. And thank God he’s not hurt that bad.”
“If it had been a smaller vehicle, I think it would’ve killed him,” he told KTBC.
Meanwhile, the infant was transported to the hospital by other first responders.
The Texas Department of Public Safety is handling the ongoing investigation into the collision.
You can watch cell phone footage of the startling collision in the videos below: