(Platteville, Colorado – September 12, 2016)
An unidentified victim was airlifted to Denver Health Hospital for treatment of injuries incurred after a collision between at about 9:21 A.M., MDT last Monday morning at a dangerous and unguarded Union Pacific Platteville, CO crossing. This was the fourth to occur at the intersection of County Road 30 and UPRR tracks.
The double-tracked (main line and siding) UPRR/Weld County Road 30 intersection is only a few feet, barely enough to provide safe storage for any highway vehicle, from where it dead-ends into the multi-laned Highway 85, also known as the CanAm Highway, which parallels UPRR tracks through Platteville.
Even with a daily train count of 10 UP freight trains, which can travel at speeds as high as 60 MPH through the Weld County city, and the occurrence of three, fortunately non-injury, accidents at the road/rail crossing, the crossing still lacked any form of active warning devices, such as lights and gates. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was equipped with lights and gates, this collision would not have happened. Both UPRR and Operation Lifesaver know that lights and gates are the most effective type of protection at railroad crossings. Studies that have been conducted over fifty years ago confirm that lights and gates offer the ability to drastically reduce the number of vehicle/train accidents by as much as 96%.
Both Highway 85 and CR 30 were closed to accommodate investigation by the Weld County Sheriff’s office and assisting law enforcement agencies.