INDEPENDENCE---A pair of octogenarian sisters from Franklinton will live to tell the tale of how quick thinking saved their lives Wednesday after their pick-up truck became trapped on the railroad crossing at 5th Street in Independence.
Independence Police Chief Frank Edwards, III, said the 82-year-old driver and her sister were able to escape the cab before the vehicle was struck by an oncoming southbound passenger train around 1:15 p.m. Wednesday.
The 5th Street crossing is across the street from City Hall and less than a block away from the Independence Police Department.
Officials say the women were northbound on US 51 when they turned east on 5th Street to cross the railroad tracks. Edwards said the truck stopped at the track as the railroad cross arms came down, trapping the truck on the tracks. The sisters exited the cab of the truck before the train collided with the front left side of the vehicle. The passenger was injured by the truck and taken to the hospital but is expected to be okay, Edwards said Wednesday afternoon.
Independence Police, Independence Fire, Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police, Acadian Ambulance, and many other emergency response teams were on the scene. By 3 p.m., the Amtrak train had also left the scene.