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Surveillance cameras catch fiery train vs. tractor trailer crash on tape

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PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - It was all caught on tape, and we now have that video of a fiery crash that shows a train colliding with a tractor trailer in Pulaski County. It happened Friday afternoon on Highway 2227 near Somerset.

After talking with family, we've learned the tractor trailer driver involved in that crash is married, has kids, and lives in Washington State.
For now, he's still recovering at UK Hospital and is lucky to be alive.

Friday afternoon when many were wrapping up their work week, surveillance cameras caught what happened on train tracks in Pulaski County.

"The tractor trailer evidently was trying to cross over into Warner Fertilizer Plant to weigh his load," said Chief Doug Baker, with Somerset-Pulaski Special Response.

Sheriff's deputies tell us Viktor Kalchenia, 27, was driving that tractor trailer when a train flashed before his eyes. Fire and smoke spread quickly, and officials with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office say it could be seen for miles.

"We had multiple fires, multiple explosions," said Chief Baker. "When I arrived on scene, there was fire probably 75 to 100 yards down both sides of the tracks and 35 to 40 feet in the air."

That night we asked what caused the collision, and officials on scene did not know. After further investigation, the sheriff's office determined the truck driver missed a turn and was trying to correct that, watching the rear of his trailer instead of the tracks.

When looking closely at the video, you can see the train narrowly miss the truck's cab. But it hits the trailer filled with charcoal lighter fluid, bursting into flames.

"Big mess and a lot of cleanup," said Chief Baker. "But like I said, everyone works well together in this county and what could have been a huge disaster turned out as well as it could be."

Nonetheless, seeing the video it's hard to believe Viktor Kalchenia survived.

Kalchenia's wife tells us he had surgery Monday morning and is scheduled to have another on Friday. She also says Kalchenia is stable in the trauma ICU of UK Hospital. The family is not commenting on camera about the crash.


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