PORTLAND -- A van crashed into a Portland Streetcar about 6:15 p.m.Thursday, knocking it off its tracks and shutting down three lanes of busy West Burnside for hours.

The driver of the van, Josh Sisk, told KGW his brakes weren't working and he tried his emergency brake in desperation. When that too failed to stop the van, he shouted out a warning to pedestrians.

"I started yelling out the window 'move, move, move' as people started going through the crosswalk," he said.

He then hit the streetcar, bringing the van to a stop. An officer on the scene said it appeared the van did have brake issues.

Sisk said he's been living out of his van, but just started a new job. He hopes to stay with friends for a few days. What affected him most was the possibility that he could have died, leaving his three children without a dad.

"Could have been a lot worse," he said. "I'm thankful. I love my kids."

Both eastbound lanes of Burnside were closed at Southwest 10th avenue for nearly four hours while a crane was brought in to put the streetcar back on the tracks. One westbound lane remained open during the closure.

All but one lane on Southwest 10th Avenue was also closed. The streetcar line between SW 10th Avenue and Portland State University was shut down.

One person asked for a medical transport, Portland Fire & Rescue officials said.