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Four Injured At Dangerous, Unguarded Iowa BNSF Crossing

(Lestor, Iowa – June 28, 2011)

Four individuals received injuries of varying degree Tuesday night about 9:14 P.M. when the 1994 Pontiac Grand Prix they were in was struck by a Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail-mounted maintenance machine used for railroad track maintenance. The accident occurred at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of 120th Street and the BNSF Railway in Lyon County, IA.

Driver Jessica Knobloch, 19, of Doon, IA, was driving south on Dogwood Avenue and turned west onto 120th Street, where she immediately crossed the BNSF tracks and was struck by the ballast regulator.

The rail crossing has only crossbucks and no electronic warning devices to warn motorists of approaching trains. Knobloch and one of her passengers, Clifford Logan, 26, of Rock Rapids, IA, were transported by ambulance to Sanford Hospital in Rock Rapids for treatment. Another passenger, Jessie Bathke, 19, of George, IA, was taken by ambulance to Sanford Hospital in Luverne, MN, and was from there transferred to Sanford’s facility in Sioux Falls, SD for treatment of her injuries.

The vehicle’s fourth passenger, Candra Knobloch, 25, of Rock Rapids, IA was airlifted to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD, where she was admitted in undisclosed condition. The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the accident.