Driver loses life as truck stalls on tracks

A Devine man lost his life in this accident on one of the many rural railroad crossings that do not have lights or a mechanical arm to warn of oncoming trains.

Celistino Cardena ,Jr., 64, of Devine sadly lost his life this past Thursday, February 7 when his truck stalled on the railroad tracks on PR 6731, also known as Corto road by locals. The driver’s door was open when it was struck by a train around 5 pm.
“The vehicle became stranded at the railroad tracks and it appears he was trying to exit the vehicle as the train approached,” said Natalia Police Chief Gilbert Rodriguez.
There are no arms or lights at this rural railroad crossing, located across from the Natalia Little League field.
Volunteer Fireman Russell Johnson was one of the first on scene, “We found the driver in the water about 50 feet away from the Dodge Dually truck. The truck was hit on the passenger side, and the door of the driver was open.”
“No matter how many times I’ve seen something like this happen it’s still so hard to see. It’s hard to understand why we still have railroad crossings with no visual aids–lights or arms?” said Johnson, who has been a volunteer firefighter for over 40 years.
“Just down the road, about six months ago the railroad shut down one of these crossings that have no lights or arms near the old Fraga store,” Johnson said. “There’s a lot of houses out behind there so all those homeowners have to take another route, about a half mile detour to get home. They also shut down the crossing going into Gusville RV Park. It sure would be nice if they would put up some visual aids rather than just shutting these crossings down.”
Natalia PD does have a program in which you can help provide assistance to local families who have suffered tragedies like this one. Just reach out if you’d like to help.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by this terrible tragedy.