Mansfield Fire Chief Neal Boldrighini stated that the driver's survival during the crash on Wednesday with a freight train was due to the new safety equipment installed on his 2013 Toyota Venza.
"His car was absolutely totalled," he said. "He was driving a very new vehicle and it was equiped with every airbag offered... He was lucky in that respect and he ws lucky in all because he hit that train at a pretty good clip.
"He sustained non-lifethreatening injuries."
The driver collided with the train on Monday at around noon. He was medflighted to the Rhode Island Hospital trauma unit with serious injuries. No one else was hurt, but he was extricated using the jaws of life after the crash pinned him in the vehicle.
According to Boldrighini, the driver was a worker at the industrial park. He added that the freight trains move around in the park about twice a week, moving very slowly and using a flagman to help alert drivers to the presence of the train.
"He did not seee that the train had pulled out probably halfway across [the street]," he said. "Consequently, because of being distracted he hit the train."
Boldrighini added that he felt that cell phone use in any form is dangerous while driving.
"What this comes down to is that cell phone use in a car is just not a good idea," he said. "People get distracte by cell phones. That's for regular cell phones and hands-free, they are equally problematic."
The vehicle was a 2013 Toyota Venza, according to Mansfield Police.