Railroad News

Another Internal Private Crossing Accident Kills BNSF Employee

(Tulsa, Oklahoma – August 4, 2011)

A 39-year-old female Burlington Northern Santa Fe employee died early Thursday morning about 2:00 A.M. when the utility vehicle she was in was struck at an on-property, private rail crossing by a single, unattended flatcar being switched into classification tracks at BNSF’s Cherokee Yard in west Tulsa County, OK.

The victim, who was a passenger in the 2010 Kubota RTV being driven by fellow BNSF employee Randy Don Battenfield, 27, of Inola, OK, was identified as Deborah Ann Beeler of Claremore, OK.

Beeler was pinned inside the vehicle, and the Tulsa Fire Dept. worked for two hours with “Jaws-of-Life” equipment to free her body. Her co-worker escaped the carnage unscathed.

Earlier this year, three BNSF employees were killed at another on-property crossing in Washington state, and a CSX employee died at a similar type accident at a CSX railroad yard in Georgia.