A witness to the accident, long-distance trucker Gary Mathews of Independence, Mo., said neither train blew a horn or signaled with lights as they barreled toward each other over the stark Panhandle landscape.
"A blast of hot air came through the side glass, and it put a burn on you like you step out of an air-conditioned bar into 110 degrees, through the glass," he said. "There was a thud and it was over. Smoke was rolling. Smoke went up so high it was like a foundry on fire, and it was barreling straight up,"