GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Norcross police are warning people to stay away from the downtown area as crews continue to clean up debris from a high-speed impact between a freight train and a tractor-trailer.
Channel 2’s Richard Elliot was at the crash scene Tuesday night as crews spent hours trying to clean the mess up.
The driver of the tractor-trailer was moving a family from Norcross to Florida when he got stuck on the tracks.
Elliot obtained cellphone of the moment the freight train collided with a truck stuck on the railroad tracks in downtown Norcross.
The impact scattered a family's possessions everywhere.
“I'm a little shaken up. I'm blessed that I’m still here,” driver Eli Mercado told Elliot.
Mercado told Elliot his wife was in the cab with him when the train hit.
He said he followed his GPS to the Holcomb Bridge Road crossing and didn't see the "no trucks" signs until it was too late.
His truck got stuck and before long they all heard the train horn.
- Couple accused of kicking out adopted children after winning home makeover
- Trump breaks protocol on press access
- Train, truck crash causes huge mess in Norcross
“So my wife jumps out of the truck. She's screaming at me to get out of the truck. I'm just trying to save the truck,” Mercado told Elliot.
Norcross police officers ran over and desperately screamed at Mercado to get out of the cab, too. He did in the nick of time.
“As soon as I jumped out of the truck, maybe four seconds later, the impact with the trailer, with the train with the trailer,” Mercado said.
Miguel Flores was in a car with his dad and took video of the impact as his dad backed away.
“He was back up because he saw the impact, and I’m glad we did, or he did, because it would've hit us on the side,” Flores said.
Mercado admits after he realized he was safe, he broke down and cried.
“The only thing I could do was ball up and cry like a little baby, you know, because that’s the way I pay my bills. That's the way I take care of my kids, my family,” Mercado said.
A nearby restaurant gave the Mercados a free dinner to help them out.
Train hit tractor trailer at Holcomb Br/ S Peachtree St crossing in Norcross. pic.twitter.com/LeKFU4cW1r— Jason Durden (@JasonDurdenWSB) November 15, 2016
Long train severs a big rig on the tracks in Downtown Norcross: Holcomb Bridge Rd at Thrasher St. #ATLtraffic @wsbradio @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/BgCr0yjwHn— 🔥Fireball Turnbull 🚁 (@DougTurnbull) November 15, 2016
Cox Media Group