(Earlville, Iowa – March 2, 2014)
A 36-year-old Dyersville, IA resident lost his life Monday morning after his southbound 2003 Nissan Altima was struck, demolished and knocked some 50 feet by an eastbound CN freight train at the dangerous and unguarded crossing of Williams Street and Canadian National Railroad tracks about 4:45 A.M. in the Delaware, IA county community of Earlville, IA.
Jose Moncada-Nava was transported by Earlville Ambulance to the Delaware Memorial Hospital in Dyersville, IA, where he passed away shortly after his arrival.
The Williams Street/CNR crossing has only standard, passive railroad cross-buck and highway “yield” signs to let motorists know that a railroad crosses there. It is virtually certain that lights and gates would have prevented this incident. Both Canadian National and Operation Lifesaver know 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%.
Several reports erroneously called the crossing to be of North or South West Street, but maps and news media photos correctly showed the location as South Williams Street.
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, an average of eight CNR trains cross the Williams Street intersection daily at a top permissible speed of 50 mph.
The tragedy was investigated by the Iowa State Patrol with assistance from the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office.