Burlington, WA – The Washington State Patrol responded to a fatal collision involving a vehicle and train on State Route 20 at the intersection of Garrett Road around 5:08 p.m. on December 27th, 2019.
According to a press memo from the Washington State Patrol, a Skagit County Sheriff’s Deputy attempted to stop a 2019 Hyundai Elantra for a traffic violation when the driver of the vehicle made a sudden turn onto Garrett Road from State Route 20, striking a tanker train that was traveling through the intersection of State Route 20 and Garrett Road. The train then pulled the vehicle for approximately one mile Westbound down the tracks where the vehicle caught fire near the intersection of Avon Allen Road. The Train conductor was unaware that anyone had struck the side of the train and Skagit County Sheriff’s Deputies had attempted to get ahead of the train to notify the conductor to stop. They also radioed Skagit 9-1-1 and emergency dispatchers alerted the railroad via phone to have the train stop.
Washington State Patrol, District 7 Public Information Officer, Trooper Heather Axtman said the vehicle was not attempting to elude deputies at the time of the crash. It is unclear why the driver drove into the side of the train, but the train was said to be traveling the 25-miles per hour speed limit when it was struck by the vehicle. All Lanes of State Route 20 were closed in the area of the crash due to the vehicle fire and the proximity of the vehicle to the train car and the potential hazardous materials inside the train.
Firefighters from the City of Burlington, City of Mount Vernon, Bay Ridge Fire District 6, McLean Road Fire District 2 and Alger Fire District 14 responded to the assist with the incident and backfill stations.
Troopers Identified the driver as 36-year old Christopher Michael Brock of Burlington. He leaves behind a wife and two small children. According to an obituary for Christopher, he was born in Anacortes, Washington on September 28th, 1983. He spent all of his life in Skagit County with the exception of 6-months as a baby that he lived in Alaska. Christopher worked for the last ten years at Fred Meyer, most recently at the Lakeway Store in Bellingham. He loved spending time with his wife, Alyssia Brock, his three year old daughter and his son.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 12th, 2020 at the Day Creek Chapel located at 31438 South Skagit Highway.
There is a meal train sign up and you can view that link by clicking here.