Car strikes Amtrak train forcing Avenue 12 closure in Madera County

FRESNO, Calif.

                  |   Watch Video Above for Extended Coverage   |

"No not really. I just had to go pay something here real quick. I came up here earlier and I saw the detour but I thought it would be done by now." said Arlene Rojas of Madera.

Others however found the alternate route to be a bit of a hassle.

"We had a maniac passing all of us in a van. A big ol van passing everyone like a lunatic. Yeah it's an inconvenience." said Susan Rose of Fresno.

Avenue 12 closed down because county officials say an elderly man drove through a flashing railroad crossing arm late Wednesday morning. He then struck the back end of Amtrak train similar to this one and ended up taking out the crossing box. No one was seriously injured including the driver. A photo taken by the Madera Tribune shows the mangled front end of the driver's white Toyota Prius.

BNSF crews spent the day and night replacing the crossing box and set up cement road blocks. But the detour wasn't only in place for drivers.

Mark Knox of Fresno works in Madera and commutes on his bike everyday. Knox didn't mind the detour -- but admits spinning his wheels on Avenue 12's well paved road is much more enjoyable compared to other rugged rural roads.

"Mark Knox: They have a nice shoulder there. Here I have no shoulders to I usually don't ride these roads.

Reporter: But you're going to huh?

Mark Knox: I have to today."

Officials hope to have this railroad section up and running by Thursday.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.