OLD ORCHARD BEACH — An Old Orchard Beach man narrowly escaped serious injury or death Wednesday night when his pickup truck lurched backward, tore down an embankment and onto railroad tracks, where a Downeaster passenger train smashed into it.

Police said Carson Filiault got out of the truck just seconds before the collision wrecked his 2005 Nissan pickup. Filiault suffered only bumps and bruises, police said, and no one else was injured.

Filiault, who lives in an apartment just off Seaview Avenue, could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Roxanne DuBois, who lives across the street from Filiault, said she was out on her deck when she saw the pickup lurch across the street. She said she heard the southbound train crash into the truck moments later, although she couldn’t see the collision.

Detective Sgt. David Hemingway said Filiault told police that he was dazed for a moment by his truck lurching backward before he got out just in time.

Hemingwaye said Filiault told police that the truck revved when he shifted into reverse and it shot across Seaview Avenue, ran down a brush-covered embankment and then onto the tracks, where it stopped.

37690 OOBcarTrainAccident01A wide swath of smashed brush leading down the embankment remained Thursday, and cars rolled by occasionally with people looking at the aftermath.

The truck was impounded by Old Orchard Beach police and Amtrak officials Thursday for an investigation, Hemingway said. A worker at the storage yard operated by the towing company described the pickup as “a mangled piece of metal.”

Hemingway said no one was allowed to see it before investigators had a chance to look it over.

The incident delayed Downeaster trains in both directions Wednesday night. The trains run between Brunswick and Portland and Boston. Service was back to normal Thursday, with a small pile of brush next to the tracks the only sign that something had happened.

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