"The young lady said she just didn't see or hear the train," Sparks says. "It destroyed the car, had she been 2 seconds later it could have killed her easily."
The driver was not seriously injured, but she was transported to Washington Regional Hospital as a precaution. Johnson police wrote the woman a ticket for failure to yield at a railroad crossing.
Sparks says the accident shows just how important it is to slow down, look and listen before crossing the tracks.
"That's the motorists' duty," Sparks says. "If you have a collision with the train the train always wins, so you always have to be expecting a train from any direction at any time."
The intersection in Johnson is a passive crossing, which means it has no lights or gates.
"It has cross bucks which are yield signs basically," Sparks says. "The train always has the right of way and it just can't stop quickly."
The train was blowing its horn and ringing a bell, Sparks says, but today's cars can make it tough to hear.
"They may need to crack the window," he says. "Turn the music down. Turn the heater down. Tell the kids to be quiet. Put the cell phone down, whatever it is that they're doing when they come to a railroad crossing they need to realize that they need to pay attention."
He hopes drivers take heed, because a car is no match for the heavyweight on the tracks.