The preliminary investigation revealed that a 2015 Western Star tractor pulling an empty log trailer was traveling west on Industrial Drive just east of LA 3 when the driver, 70-year-old Phillip Rivers of Zwolle, drove into the path of a southbound Union Pacific freight train. The tractor was then struck by the train in the passenger side and pushed down the tracks. After impact, the train pushed the tractor 4/10 of a mile down the railroad track south of the crash scene before stopping.
Rivers was unrestrained at the time of the crash and was ejected during the crash. Rivers was pronounced dead at the scene by the Bossier Parish Coroner.
A toxicology sample was obtained from Rivers for analysis. The crash remains under investigation.
The crash occurred at a crossing with no active warning devices (flashing lights, gates, or bells). However, a railroad crossing sign and stop sign were present at the crossing. Louisiana state law requires motorists to yield the right of way to trains whether active warning devices are present or not.
Troopers want to take this time to remind motorists that trains can stop but they can’t stop quickly. That is why it is so important to look and listen for trains when approaching a railroad crossing and to always yield the right of way to trains.