‘Before someone is killed’: Cibolo councilman wants changes along FM 78 after another train crash

Train crash delayed traffic for hours along FM 78 and Country Lane

SAN ANTONIO – Cibolo City Councilman Joel Hicks said it’s time for more action after another crash on Wednesday morning along FM 78 — this one at Country Lane.

“We’ve got to do something before someone is killed,” Hicks said. “That’s a main concern. I don’t want to see anyone lose their life at this particular crossing.”

Hicks said signage and crossing signals are not stopping large trucks from getting stuck on the tracks.

“We’ve got two signs up that say, ‘no through trucks,’ and our police officers do write the citations for trucks cutting through,” Hicks said.

Wednesday morning’s crash caused traffic delays for hours and shut down the Country Lane crossing.

Hicks said closing that crossing for good is not something he wants to consider.

“There’s a lot of residents there that would have delayed emergency services if we were to close down,” Hicks said.

Train crashes are a recurring problem in the area. In March, there was a train crash in Schertz on FM 78 at Schertz Parkway. There were no injuries in either collision, but Hicks believes it’s only a matter of time.

“The signs are up. The truckers need to realize that that’s not a safe crossing for them,” Hicks said. “I’m hoping that it doesn’t come down to the ultimate, which is the loss of life. That’s the one thing that we do not do.”

Union Pacific owns the railroad tracks. Hicks said he’s reached out to the company for answers, and the city set aside $45,000 years ago for an engineering study to determine how to prevent further accidents from happening along FM 78.

“Everybody knows that they’ve got the rights, so it’s one of those where they need to take the lead, but obviously, the city is willing to step up and work with them,” Hicks said.

In a statement to KSAT, Union Pacific spokesperson Mike Jaixen said, “the crew on board the train was not injured,” and the “incident is under investigation.”

The statement continued, “Union Pacific is also reaching out to Cibolo council member Joel Hicks to discuss his concerns. By law, professional truck drivers are required to ensure that 18-wheelers can completely clear railroad crossings. Drivers must take an alternate route if a truck is too low and unable to cross the tracks.”

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About the Authors:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.

Sal Salazar is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Before coming to KSAT in 1998, he worked at the Fox affiliate in San Antonio. Sal started off his career back in 1995 for the ABC Affiliate in Lubbock and has covered many high-profile news events since. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home, gaming and loves traveling with his wife.