A veteran Texas law enforcement officer was killed Wednesday morning when the vehicle he was driving was struck by a train south of Kingsville, reports the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
Officer Ken Starrs, the assistant commander of the South Texas Specialized Crimes and Narcotics Taskforce, was driving to his office on County Road 2140 beyond the railroad tracks on Highway 77 when the train struck the pickup he was driving. Starrs was 65.
He was crossing a set of railroad tracks that run parallel to the highway and was struck by a Union Pacific train, said Sgt. Nathan Brandley with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The intersection does not have railroad crossing arms. The train had a crew of two people — a conductor and an engineer. It stretched 5,700-feet and was comprised of 53 cars, said Jeff DeGraff, director of corporate relations and media with Union Pacific. He said the train was mainly empty with only five cars containing cargo.
The incident will be investigated by DPS, Brandley said. Union Pacific is conducting its own investigation.