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Driver escapes without a scratch after truck vs. train collision in Norman

NORMAN, Okla.  – A lack of patience and a bad decision nearly cost a man his life this morning after he made the decision to try to beat a train barreling down the track.

It happened on the railroad crossing at flood and Lexington St. in Norman.

The driver, Richard Taylor, escaped the cab of his pickup truck just in the nick of time.

Taylor says he thought he could make it, but he’s now the first person to admit just how wrong he was.

Lt. Chris Dirck says, “I would say he’s very lucky. Most drivers don’t escape unharmed.”

The gates weren’t down yet, but Taylor could see the train coming as he drove south on Flood. Trying to get across the tracks at Lexington St. before the gates came down he took that turn too fast and his wheels got stuck in the tracks.

“That’s when that woman cop came by and she said, ‘Get out of that truck!’ Boy, I unfastened that seat belt and boy I was out of that truck!” says Taylor. “I was scared! I was shakin!”

He can laugh about it all now, but his family was not so amused.

And that split second decision is going to cost him.

A reckless driving ticket in Norman is almost $300. He also could be paying for any damages to the train.

Taylor’s learned a valuable lesson and says he knows everyone that drove by wondered, “what was that guy thinking?”

“You’re not going to beat a train. The train is going to win every time,” says Lt. Dirck. “It’s just imperative for every driver out there to take heed of the warnings at railroad crossings.”