I Was Lucky. This Time.

Dear Petroliance,

I am alive, and I am thankful.

On Thursday, April 24, 2008 at 9:34 am I was driving westbound on C_____ Rd in P________, Florida. As I was approaching the Railroad tracks at D______ the lights started flashing to indicate an approaching train. I came to a complete stop as the gate arms started descending, and was dismayed to see an eastbound motorist trying to slip through at the last moment.

It was a tanker truck, and it was so late slipping through that I saw the gate arm hit the top of the truck. Right on the tank. The tank that holds whatever highly flammable chemicals you transport.

Yes, it was one of your trucks. I could clearly read “Petroliance” and the phone number (800-226-7011) painted on the back of the tank. Unfortunately I could not make out a truck number.

I am appalled. I sat there as your truck was crossing the tracks, and I flashed back, remembering the accident that happened fifteen years ago just a few miles to the south. That day a train hit a tanker that was sitting on the tracks, and the ensuing fireball fried five people doing nothing more than sitting in their cars waiting for the train to go by. You know, the people who had obeyed the signals and stopped. Of course the tanker driver died that day, too.

Here I was in that very vulnerable spot, first in line nearest the tracks, watching the signal gate hit your tanker.

Did your driver think the five minutes saved was worth the risk? I’ll bet he did. I’ll bet that driver fifteen years ago did, too. But I know that six families and one company (that was likely sued into oblivion) don’t think so.

And neither do I.

Perhaps it’s time to have a refresher course in railroad safety for your drivers, particulary the one that crossed the railroad tracks on eastbound C____ Rd at 9:34 am this past Thursday.


5 Responses to “I Was Lucky. This Time.”

  1. Patty Says:

    I hate it when people do that. Makes it even worse when a person that drives for a living does it, and one who is hauling a load of dangerous chemicals. I hope they look into the incident, and the driver in question gets in trouble (all of their trucks should have GPS, so they should be able to figure it out).

  2. Emily Says:

    I hope you send that letter for real.

    TG you are safe! Hugs!

  3. goodfountain Says:

    That’s terrible. I’m glad you sent that letter though and I hope someone gets reprimanded.

  4. Funny about Money Says:

    Sumbich!! If you haven’t sent that letter, send it now! And send copies to the Highway Patrol and the FTC.

    Often you can’t get these clowns’ attention without yelling at a regulatory agency, too.

    You were extremely lucky, and so was the moron at the truck’s wheel. I guess we probably go through our lives bouncing from one narrow escape to the next, many of which we’re not even aware of. That one was particularly horrific.

  5. Vanessa Says:

    Awful, just awful. I truly hope this is a wake up call to this company and their drivers. And I am truly glad you are okay.

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