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Female Motorist Killed by Union Pacific Train at Dangerous, Unguarded Iowa Crossing

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Lisbon, Iowa – September 28, 2012)

A female resident of rural Lisbon, IA died at about 8:37 A.M. Friday morning when her southbound SUV was struck on the driver’s side by a westbound Union Pacific freight train at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of Gillette Lane and UPRR tracks at the northwest edge of Lisbon, IA

Lisbon Chief of Police Rick Scott identified the victim as Wilma J. Morningstar, 76, who was thrown from her vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene. The SUV was rolled into a ditch after the impact with the train’s locomotive. The train, traveling from Chicago to Portland, OR, consisted of four locomotives and 89 freight cars, the majority of which were carrying overseas and domestic containers stacked at two levels.

The Gillette Lane/UPRR crossing is “protected” only by standard, passive railroad crossbuck signs, and even though an average of 58 trains cross there daily at speeds of up to 70 mph, no automatic protection such as flashing lights, bells or crossing gates have ever been installed at the crossing.

The Iowa State Patrol was assisting local authorities in the investigation of the tragedy.


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