(Gilbert, Arizona – October 29, 2020)
A 60-year-old local man was killed at a private Union Pacific Railroad crossing in Gilbert, AZ last Thursday afternoon at about 5:00 PM, MST, when his 4-door hatchback as struck by one of two daily Union Pacific trains. The collision occurred at the dangerous and unguarded crossing which accommodates trains traveling up to 40 mph.
Rene Zapata was driving on the private access road just west of McQueen Road when he was struck. The crossing lacks any form of active warning devices, such as lights and gates. The tragedy marked the seventh car/train collision to occur at the crossing. It is unclear whether Union Pacific timely blew the train horn prior to the collision as Union Pacific’s engineers do not consistently and routinely sound the train horn at private crossings. Those earlier half dozen collisions had been marred by four non-fatal injuries to motorists.