Story and photos by Larry Vogel
At 6:56 a.m. Tuesday morning, a southbound Sounder commuter train collided with a semi truck in downtown Edmonds.
According to unconfirmed reports, the driver of the truck misread information from his GPS and mistook the ferry holding lanes for a bridge to Poulsbo. While he was stopped on the tracks, the signals sounded indicating an approaching train, and the crossing gate lowered between the cab and the trailer. The driver then attempted to back up, but couldn’t clear the tracks in time to avoid the oncoming train.
“These trains travel at about 40 miles per hour,” said Edmonds Police spokesperson Mike Blackburn. “Unlike larger trains, the Sounders drop speed pretty quickly when approaching a station, so it was still moving at a good clip when the impact occurred.” The impact damaged the front section of the truck, and caused the Sounder locomotive to separate from the rest of the train.
“Thankfully there were no injuries to the driver, Sounder passengers or Sound Transit personnel,” said Sound Transit’s J. Ponce Van Enger. “Our investigation is continuing this morning, part of which is a full inspection of the track to assure that there’s no damage and it’s safe to be back in service. We hope to resume rail service later this afternoon.”
Ferry service will continue on schedule Tuesday, but loading and unloading will be slower until the roadway is completely cleared.