A train collided with a tractor trailer in Sackville, N.B., on Thursday morning after the truck became stuck on the tracks.
The truck driver was shaken up, but managed to escape injury. He was not in the vehicle at the time, said RCMP St. Paul Ouellette.
His tanker truck, however, sustained significant damage when it was struck by Nova Scotia-bound CN Railways cargo train at about 8 a.m., said Ouellette.
The empty dairy container was en route from the Sussex area to a farm in Sackville when it got stuck on a private railway crossing leading up to the farm, he said.
When dairy farmer Jonathan Ayer heard the tires spinning outside his house, he ran for the door. In a panic, he and his father ran to the truck to make sure the driver was alright, he told CBC News.
"Just get out of the way 'cause we knew for sure there was nothing we could do. It was just a matter of time," said Ayer. "Felt like an hour even though it was maybe five seconds."
The Ayers were on the phone with 911 when the train suddenly appeared around the bend, he said. The crash happened before they hung up.
"Be wrong to say it's like the movies because it was quite quiet. The train was only crawling when it got here but it couldn't stop."
The driver of the southbound cargo train had tried to stop, but only managed to slow down, RCMP said.
The train eventually came to a full stop further up the track. It was able to continue on its course after about 90 minutes, said Ouellette.
The milk truck driver also resumed his route in another vehicle shortly after the incident.
Crews remained at the scene into the afternoon, trying to remove the trailer portion of the truck, which was pushed into the ditch, he said.
RCMP are investigating, along with CN officials, but no charges are expected, Ouellette said.
A buildup of snow and ice on the tracks is suspected to be the cause, he said.
Ayer said his family will be more diligent about clearing the snow from the tracks from now on, but that it's a bad spot.
"We're in the open, the wind puts the snow in there … Not a lot we can do," he said.