Passenger Train Hits Car Crossing Tracks in Van Buren

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A passenger train hit a car crossing the tracks on 13th and Elm in Van Buren Wednesday.

Matthew Kraus, 23, said he was driving around the corner and had just made it onto the tracks when he heard the train blow its whistle.

Kraus said he knew he didn’t have time to make it off the tracks, and immediately decided it would be better to drive forward as fast as possible so the train would hit the back end of his car.

“I just knew I didn’t want it to hit me,” said Kraus, who is okay.

His car spun around after being hit, Kraus said. That’s when two Van Buren police cars, who had been parked up the road, came over to help.

They talked with people from The Arkansas & Missouri Railroad (A&M) passenger train, before it continued on its planned route.

Kraus said he could not see much, if any, damage to the front of the train.

His car, however, does have serious frame damage to the rear passenger side. It is unclear if the car will be considered 'totaled,' Kraus said.

Kraus said he believes some sort of warning system should be installed in an effort to make sure drivers are aware when a train is close.