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Man Drove Backwards To Avoid Axle As Train Derailed

Cleanup Work Continues In Sedalia, Highway Expected To Reopen Friday Evening

SEDALIA, Colo. (CBS4) – Highway 67 in Sedalia remains closed to traffic as crews continue to clean up after a train derailment on Thursday.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

No one was hurt as seventeen train cars rumbled off their tracks in the Douglas County town at about 1:30 p.m. Officials told CBS4 the train cars were empty and they all remained upright after derailing.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Construction crews on Friday morning were digging up the tracks where the derailment happened and replacing them with new material. Work has been going on continuously at the site since Thursday afternoon.

An image of the derailment from Copter4  (credit: CBS4)

An image of the derailment from Copter4 (credit: CBS4)

John Higby, a witness, told CBS4 he felt the ground shaking as the train derailed.

“I heard a big rumble and I walked outside,” said Higby.

Susano Hererra was waiting for the train to pass in his vehicle when an axle from one of the train cars broke free and started rolling past the warning gates and onto the street towards his truck. Hererra quickly backed out of the way and avoided being struck.

“(The axle) wasn’t going too fast,” said Hererra, whose actions can be seen in surveillance video the gas station owner shared with CBS4. “It gave me time to drive backwards and (get out of the way) and I saw it go past.”

(credit: CBS)

Surveillance video shows the axle rolling down the street. (credit: CBS)

The axle wound up stopping about 8 feet away from the pump at a gas station.

Higby saw the axle’s slow roll.

“I looked up the hill and I saw the axle from the train rolling down the hill just past the median,” he said. “I watched it hit the pillar and just stop. If there was a car in the way, I don’t know what would have happened.”

Officials with BNSF Railway said they expect to have the construction work finished and the highway back open Friday evening.

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