SAN ANTONIO – The owners of a big rig that was hit by a freight train in Cibolo early Wednesday morning say they barely had time to react.
Sheila Schofield was behind the wheel at the time while her husband, Jim, was taking a nap in the back of the truck’s cab section.
She said she was trying to use the railroad crossing at FM 78 and Country Road, but her rig didn’t make it.
“There were no lights so I couldn’t see the incline of the tracks. And we have a low (profile) trailer, so when I went over it, we got hung up,” she said.
The couple from Oklahoma were hauling a truck to a local quarry at the time.
The heavy load made their already-low-profile trailer sink even closer to the ground.
As she tried to drive across the tracks, it hit bottom and wouldn’t budge.
Before she knew it, Schofield said a train was baring down on them.
“I hollered for (Jim). He was asleep,” she said. “I said, ‘There are headlights coming,’ so we got out.”
Jim, meanwhile, shot up in bed, wondering if he was having a nightmare.
“I woke up in a panic,” he said. “We just watched it happen, you know? Got to a safe spot, that’s for sure.”
The couple escaped injury, but their big rig, the truck they were hauling, and the train, itself, all sustained major damage.
Because their tractor trailer was their only transportation, the Schofields had to quickly come up with a plan to get back home to Oklahoma.
“We’re going to rent a U-Haul and gather our stuff and take it home,” Sheila said.
While Jim was later able to chuckle about the up-close encounter with the train, both he and his wife were shaken by it. They also were grateful they survived.