SAN AUGUSTINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - The clean-up effort is still under way in the wake of a train derailment that occurred Monday morning near FM 1279 in San Augustine County.
Rhonda Oaks, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Transportation, said they hope to have FM 1279-re-opened for through traffic sometime after lunch today.
A 2006 Peterbilt log truck that was traveling west on FM 1279 struck the 46-car moving train and caused it to derail at about 10:18 a.m. Monday, the press release stated. Numerous rail cars, including tankers, overturned. A total of 13 cars derailed and overturned, according to a Texas Department of Public Safety press release.
The driver of the truck has been identified as James Cartwright, 33, of Shelbyville. Cartwright was taken to San Augustine County Memorial Hospital for treatment of possible injuries.
The SACSO spokesperson also said authorities are dealing with a hazardous spill that has resulted from the derailment. A hazardous materials team worked to clean up the scene, and a member of the hazmat team said one of the tanker cars was carrying a liquid called sodium hydroxide, which is the chemical name for lye.
"Three homes were evacuated for safety purposes," the press release stated.
Officials with BNSF, who oversee the freight railroad network, said all of their trains contain a camera which they will use to further the investigation.
"Occasionally an incident does happen. What we will do is study it, study the cause of it, and act accordingly to try to prevent that in the future," said Joseph Faust, the director of public affairs BNSF.
Oaks said Monday that the road will be closed until the wreckage from the derailed train is cleared. Motorists traveling on FM 1279 should expect delays and possible even take an alternate route if possible.
The wreck is still under investigation.