Truck driver who was nearly hit by train after truck gets stuck on tracks in Atwater speaks out

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101316-kfsn-630pm-truck-atwater-ax-vid (KFSN)

We are now hearing for the first time from the driver of that big rig hit by a train in Atwater earlier this week. Just a day before the crash an Atwater city council member addressed the dangerous intersection.

An abc30insider captured the moment a train smashed through a truck in Atwater. The driver had just seconds to escape.

Ajitpal Batti said he was making a right turn and his truck got stuck in the median

"I don't even remember hearing the train. I was nervous trying to do what I can do."

A CHP officer backed up right before the train barreled through.

"I was really lucky. I never thought anything like that would ever happen,' said Batti.

Atwater Interim Police Chief Sam Joseph said in the last year, they haven't had any accidents in that intersection and this case is still being investigated.

"The officer taking the report has placed the driver making unsafe turning movements based on the condition of the road."

City Council Member Joe Rivero addressed the dangerous intersection at the council meeting just a day before the accident. He said he saw a truck struggling to make a right turn at the exact same intersection on Sunday and said, "I asked to have our city manager look into having the divider removed or come up with another successful solution. Regrettably, a day and a half later an accident occurs there. Thankfully no one was injured."

"They have to get rid of the center dividers-- it's too high," said Batti.

Steps are already being made to improve the intersection. The middle median has already been removed the scene.

Rivero said he's followed up with the city manager and engineers have been notified to examine the area.
Related Topics:
societymerced countytrain crashtrain accidentAtwater
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