Train Collision With Vehicle At Ungated Crossing Kills 3, Injures 2 In Brentwood

June 26, 2022 18:34 pm · 26 comments

An Amtrak train running through unincorporated Brentwood smashed into a car containing five people Sunday afternoon at a private crossing with no gates, killing three and leaving an adult and a child hospitalized with “major injuries.”

East Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Public Information Officer Steve Aubert said the call came in at 1:01 p.m. The tracks are owned by BNSF Railway. The collision occurred on the 3000 block of Orwood Road, on a dirt road.

“It’s not uncommon that we’ve had accidents at that crossing,” Aubert said.

The train stopped shortly after the collision. None of the 85 people onboard were injured, Aubert said.

Officials from the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office and the California Highway Patrol said BNSF officials are handling the investigation.

Paul June 26, 2022 at 8:59 PM

“It’s not uncommon that we’ve had accidents at that crossing,” Aubert said.

So BNSF knows that the crossing is dangerous but has not installed a gate? Time for a big pay out to the victims.

Fred June 27, 2022 at 5:33 AM

There are thousands of crossings without mechanical arms in the country. The tracks are a hint that there may be a train on them. Best to stay off them & look both ways.

Babs June 27, 2022 at 6:17 AM

Paul, as tragic as this is, it’s the responsibility of the driver of a vehicle to look before crossing any tracks especially when carrying passengers. A lot of people think they can beat the train and take that foolish chance and look what happened. In the driver’s poor judgment he is responsible for the deaths and injuries to his passengers. Tragic!

Boxcar Billy June 27, 2022 at 7:56 AM

Take a look on GoogleMaps satellite view, Paul. It’s not what you think it is.

Joe June 27, 2022 at 9:27 AM

Understand that it many circumstances, railroad tracks have existed long before the road that crosses them. The railroads owns the right of way on either side of the tracks. Though the railroad has granted an easement for the road to cross the right of way, its the owner of the road who is responsible for the the crossing and the safety.

Bill June 27, 2022 at 6:58 AM

Very sad to hear.

It says ungated however is there any flashing red light warning? I’m not familiar with that area.

Exit 12A June 27, 2022 at 7:01 AM

Not all crossings require
active warning and gate devices… depends on traffic load.

Bee friendly June 27, 2022 at 7:13 AM

Can individuals be accountable for their own actions. Who in their right mind crosses railroad tracks with or without guards without looking in both directions. Drivers training handbook has a whole section on railway safety. I’m sorry for the lives lost but this incident could’ve been avoided entirely if the driver was more observant of their surroundings.

Jessie June 27, 2022 at 8:28 AM

Bee Friendly – it’s a blind corner. Honestly it’s on Amtrak. They need a warning light or something alerting a train is coming.
You don’t know if the car hesitated.
RIP prayers to all affected by this horrible tragedy

S June 27, 2022 at 10:02 AM


Did you actually read the article or glance at it?
It is not Amtrak’s rails….

Blind intersection or not; this track and road intersection is an uncontrolled intersection… All parties ave a responsibility…

So, let’s wait for the findings….

WC Resident June 27, 2022 at 9:26 AM

Rest in Peace.

Here’s a picture of the railroad crossing in Google maps. While Google says 4274 Orwood Rd a sign at the end of the driveway says 3870 Orwood Rd.

The railroad crosses a private driveway paved with gravel. There are stop and railroad crossing signs. If you zoom out a bit and look to the right you can see a train. This shows that if you are northbound on the driveway that it’s very easy to see on coming trains. If you are southbound on the driveway then your view to left is partially blocked by trees and so should take extra care.

There are two sets of tracks there. This makes crossing and being near the tracks more dangerous as the trains are noisy. People get overwhelmed by the noise and overly focused on a train and simply don’t realize a train is coming in the other direction until it’s too late.

This is a very common style of railroad crossing in rural America. Stop 15 feet from the tracks, roll down the windows, look and listen twice as there are two set of tracks. Once you have double confirmed that both tracks are clear in both directions then get across the tracks as quickly as possible.

Ricardoh June 27, 2022 at 10:14 AM

The problem with this crossing is not being able to see trains coming from the east do to an orchard. The property owner said he has asked many times for a crossing guard but it would be better if he cut back his orchard so you could see westward bound trains.

Concord74 June 27, 2022 at 10:15 AM

The commentary and thinking by “Paul” is not untypical to shift responsibility on to deep pockets! This is a “private road” used by the residents and/or friends. The responsibility falls on the pathway owner and the user!

The Grant June 27, 2022 at 10:26 AM

I checked google maps. The visibility is clear and you can hear / check both directions if a train is coming.

On a related note, there was 7 passengers in a vehicle meant for 5 (most likely the two women found on the ground, dead where not wearing seat belts).

To Do List June 27, 2022 at 10:32 AM

This is also a good time to remind that those gates and lights do not always work so you should look both ways. YouTube has videos where a train is going through a crossing and the gates are up and the lights are out.

Steve June 27, 2022 at 10:50 AM

Talk to the engineer driving the train. Were many whistles blown? What did he see? Did the car stop? There should be flashing stop sign not just stop sign there. Terrible optics with orchard blocking view. The train gets sued unless proven otherwise.

Chris June 27, 2022 at 11:52 AM

I see a STOP sign. You have to be very stupid to get hit by a train if you stopped at the sign.

Concord Guy June 27, 2022 at 11:59 AM

This is so tragic. I remember the train crossing ad campaign when I was growing up in the 60s that’s slogan was “Stop, Look and Listen”. This obviously wasn’t done in this instance.

I’m sure that the shyster ambulance chasing attorneys are circling like vultures…

WC Resident June 27, 2022 at 12:57 PM

@Ricardoh – The railroad tracks have been there since at least 1913.
The orchard was planted in 2016 and did not fully leaf out until 2018.

For over 100 years or from at least 1913 to 2016 that area was open fields.

If the orchard creates that much of an issue in terms of safely crossing the railroad tracks then whoever planted it should be responsible for resolving the issue.

The driver of a vehicle is still responsible for keeping a lookout regardless on if and how a roadway or intersection is signed, signaled, and/or controlled. If you can’t see if the way ahead is clear then have one or more passengers get out to look and signal if it seems safe to proceed.

Ricardoh June 27, 2022 at 2:42 PM

There is a lot going on here but the bottom line is Amtrac should have put up a light.

nytemuvr June 27, 2022 at 3:16 PM

@Ricardoh….”Bottom line” is the driver is wholely responsible for not checking the tracks, especially when there’s a stop sign.

S June 27, 2022 at 4:54 PM

bottom line: it is not amtrak’s rails….

I think it’s PG&E’s fault…

Ricardoh June 27, 2022 at 7:51 PM

nytemuvr We all are entitled to an opinion. The railroad will lose in a lawsuit.

Dr Jellyfinger June 27, 2022 at 3:35 PM

This was on FOX News this morning with video of the crash site.

Another Amtrak train crashed this morning in Missouri, 3 killed & multiple injuries. It hit a dump truck and derailed.

Captain Bebops June 27, 2022 at 6:36 PM

KTVU has a news video of the Brentwood crash.

To Do List June 27, 2022 at 4:37 PM

I’m sure the bullet train system will not have any collusions or derailments because it is being built by the government.

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