FERNDALE, Wash. — Ferndale Police Chief Kevin Turner said in an email this morning, December 10th, drivers may encounter longer than usual delays at Ferndale area rail crossings as a result of damage and ongoing repairs following a crash early this morning.
Whatcom County Fire District 7 Division Chief Ben Boyko said a northbound train contacted BNSF dispatch after colliding with an unknown object at the Hovander Road railroad crossing. A southbound train passed slowly through the area and discovered a pickup truck off the road and guardrail debris around the crossing.
Turner said Ferndale Police officers were dispatched about 12:40am to the report of the crash in the 5400 block of Hovander Road. They found a blue GMC Sierra pickup truck that had failed to negotiate the curve while southbound on Hovander Road and struck a power pole at the railroad tracks.
The southbound BNSF train was stopped due to debris on the tracks from the damaged guardrail and danger to power lines from a damaged power pole according to Turner. Due to the length of the train, it blocked the crossing at Washington Street and 2nd Avenue.
Boyko said the pickup driver and a passenger refused medical aid at the scene.
Turner said the driver of the truck was issued a citation for “speed too fast for conditions.”
A Puget Sound Energy crew responded due to damage to the power pole from the collision. The truck had to be left in place until the power pole could be replaced, Turner said, due to the danger of the pole falling.
Ferndale City Public Works have closed W Smith Road at LaBounty Drive and Hovander Road at Scout Court. Turner said these closures were expected to remain until the repairs are completed sometime later this afternoon.