Not many people get hit by a train and walk around talking about it.
Rico Breland of North Charleston is one of those people.
Breland, a mover, was hauling some furniture shortly before 4:30 p.m. Wednesday when he got stuck on the railroad tracks on Ashley Phosphate Road. As the signal lights flashed that a train was coming, he was boxed in by cars in front and back.
Breland was heading south toward Dorchester Road. A CXS freight train was coming from the west toward Charleston, drawing ever closer to the passenger side of the white box truck.
Dewayne Breland, Rico’s cousin, jumped out at the last minute.
“I made it out,” Dewayne said. “Boy, that was scary. As soon as I jumped out, about two seconds later — boom!”
Rico Breland stayed in the truck as the train plowed into the passenger side.
“I was trying to save the furniture,” he said. “I just needed a few more inches, and I was trying to get it. I couldn’t get it.”
The impact knocked the truck off the tracks. Apparently the train had slowed down some, because the truck was knocked only a few feet toward Dorchester Road.
“I feel lucky to be alive,” Rico said.
Norfolk Southern dispatches trains on that track. A spokesman could not immediately say how fast the train was going at the time of impact.
North Charleston police closed down both lanes and redirected traffic for about an hour. An incident report with more details of the collision was not available.