(West Plains, Missouri – July 22, 2011)
An 85-year-old area resident died about 10:35 A.M. Friday morning when he allegedly drove around lowered railroad crossing gates and was struck by a northbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway freight train at the Howell County Road 1820 crossing of BNSF tracks.
Jesse Flowers of West Plains, MO was headed westbound into the small, unincorporated community of Olden, MO in his 1998 Dodge Ram pickup truck was struck on the driver’s side, ejecting him from his vehicle as it overturned. The wrecked truck then careened into a second vehicle, slightly injuring that motorist.
Flowers was pronounced dead at the scene by Howell County Coroner Tim Cherry. BNSF has both a main line and a siding at the CR 1820 crossing, and both are obscured by heavy tree lines in either direction.