By the Daily Post staff
A Caltrain Baby Bullet express train tonight (Feb. 10) hit an unoccupied 1950s-era Austin-Healey convertible at the Fair Oaks Lane crossing in Atherton and dragged it a quarter mile to the next crossing at Watkins Avenue.
The car apparently stalled at the Fair Oaks Crossing and the driver was able to get out before the southbound locomotive slammed into the vehicle.
NBC Bay Area reported that the driver turned onto the track while using a GPS navigation device and got stuck.
Menlo Park firefighters arrived at the Watkins crossing at 8:13 p.m. and saw that the Austin-Healey was on fire. The car was entangled under the front grill of the locomotive, which had stopped, the fire district said in a statement.
“After extinguishing the vehicle fire, Menlo Park firefighters were able to free what was left of the classic car by 10:26 p.m. using the jaws of life and other extrication equipment to (release) the twisted metal and debris from under the much larger locomotive,” the fire district said in a statement.
More than 300 passengers were transferred to another train while firefighters disentangled the car from the front of the locomotive. There were no injuries reported.
Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman said this is the second car that has been stuck at this crossing and caught fire.
“The last time this occurred in December of 2014, a driver following his navigation system on a dark and rainy night turned onto the tracks and the vehicle became stuck. Fortunately, in both of these cases, the drivers were able to escape from their vehicles before being struck by a southbound passenger train,” Schapelhouman said.