Vandevert Road in south Deschutes County was closed for several hours Monday after a freight train hit a cargo trailer. No injuries were reported, according to a news release from the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s deputies received a report at about 2:45 p.m. of a hazard where Vandevert Road crosses the tracks just west of U.S. Highway 97. Employees from the Oregon Department of Transportation, the Deschutes County Road Department, Sunriver Police and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway also responded to the scene.
An investigation revealed that the driver of a motor home, Gerald Steven Stranak, 56, of Bend, was towing an enclosed cargo trailer on Vandevert Road, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The trailer came unhitched as Stranak drove over the tracks, and Stranak called the county dispatch center to report that the trailer was on the tracks. According to the sheriff’s press release, dispatchers attempted to notify Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway so that train traffic could be stopped.
Stranak was attempting to re-hitch the trailer to his motorhome, when a train struck the trailer and pushed it to the side of the tracks. Vandevert Road was blocked while railway employees inspected the train to ensure it was not damaged, and other agencies investigated the crash.
The scene was cleared and the train was able to continue shortly after 6 p.m. Monday, said Sgt. Mark Eggert.
— Bulletin staff report