(Lincoln County, Idaho – October 2, 2013)
An as-yet unidentified man driving a farm truck was seriously injured Wednesday afternoon when he was hit by a Union Pacific freight train at the dangerous, unguarded Lincoln County, ID intersection of Union Pacific Railroad tracks and 600 West State Highway 24/Road 3150 East. The state highway parallels the railroad for some distance, and the 3150 East road exits the highway and crosses the railroad at extreme acute or obtuse angles in each direction, repeating the oddly-angled approach as the road approaches the railroad and highway from the north.
The UPRR crossing, which has no active protective devices such as flashing lights, bells and crossing gates that can give motorists warning of the approach of any of the 34 average daily trains that cross there at speeds as high as 79 mph. This crossing has now been the site of six accidents, each resulting in at least one injury.
As previously mentioned, this incident happened at a dangerous, unguarded crossing. It is virtually certain that lights and gates would have prevented this incident. Both Union Pacific 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%.
After first being taken to Minidoka Memorial Hospital in Rupert, ID, the victim was subsequently airlifted to a hospital in Twin Falls due to the severity of his injuries.