Driver killed after train collides with pickup in Weld County

WELD COUNTY, Colo. - A pickup truck was split in half and a driver was killed in a collision with a train Friday morning in Weld County.

The crash happened at about 5 a.m. on Weld County Road 8, that's near Highway 85, north of Brighton, according to Colorado State Patrol trooper Josh Lewis.

The pickup truck was pushed about 200 yards, then it caught fire. The truck was heavily damaged.

Lewis told 7NEWS there was one person in the pickup.

The coroner said that person, 55-year old Francisco Ardon, of Aurora, was ejected in the crash and died. There were no passengers.

Engineers told state troopers that the truck was moving when the train hit it.

"It appeared that he was just driving down the street," said Fort Lupton Police Sgt. William VanArsdale. "It did not appear that he was racing or speeding, trying to beat the train. He was just driving down the road."

The train was traveling 55 miles per hour, VanArsdale said.

There are no lights or sirens at the crossing, just a stop sign and a railroad crossing sign.

Officials said the train was damaged, but still functional after the crash.

7NEWS queried data from the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis and found that two previous incidents had occurred at the location where Friday's fatality happened. Nobody was injured in a 2002 incident, but a driver was injured in a 1980 incident. [Read more of what we found in the safety records]

Troopers expect the area around the crash to be closed for several hours for the investigation.

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