JONESBORO, Ark. – A stolen vehicle was struck by a train early Monday morning after being left on the tracks. The owner wasn’t even aware the vehicle had been taken when it all went down.
Before 4 AM Monday morning, July 15, engineer Paul Brewer was operating a BNSF engine traveling north on tracks in Craighead County. As the train moved through the dark, he noticed a Jeep Renegade SUV sitting stationary on the tracks at a railroad crossing near the intersection of County Road 623, north of 679. He threw the emergency brake lever, he told the Craighead County deputy, but it was too late. It took 2,900 feet from the time he hit the brake until the vehicle stopped. The train was traveling at approximately 43 miles per hour.
The train collided with the vehicle, pushing it almost 690 feet from the railroad crossing. There were 11 box cars and two engines between the crossing and where the vehicle came to rest.
Officers learned the Jeep had been stolen out of Jonesboro. They made contact with the owner who wasn’t even aware the vehicle was stolen at the time (around 4 AM). A report was completed with Jonesboro police for that stolen vehicle. JPD will handle the investigation as it occurred in city limits.
No injuries appeared to have occurred to the train workers or any other witnesses.
No suspects were listed in the report.
On July 13, a 1999 Toyota 4-Runner was reported stolen from a house on County Road 714. The vehicle was found early Monday on Warner Street in Jonesboro. The vehicle was towed as authorities worked to contact the owner. No suspects were mentioned in the report.
A number of cases of illegal dumping in Craighead County have been reported this month. The latest was Saturday morning on County Road 304 south of the 307 intersection. A chair, carpet, and household trash was found dumped by a Craighead County deputy. No identifying information was located at the scene.