(Rupert, Idaho – May 4, 2018)
A 30-year-old resident of Rupert, ID tragically became the fourth fatality to occur at the dangerous and unguarded crossing of Union Pacific Railroad tracks and 800 E. Road near Rupert about 8:10 A.M., MDT Friday morning.
This time the victim of the confusing and unprotected triple track crossing was Ismael Galaviz Victorio. He was killed when one of 20 trains that cross there daily at a maximum allowable speed of 70 mph struck his southbound pickup truck.
The crossing is not equipped with any active warning devices, such as lights and gates. It is virtually certain that this collision would not have occurred if the crossing was equipped with active warning devices. Both Union Pacific and Operation Lifesaver know that 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%.
The tragedy was the sixth collision between trains and highway vehicles to occur at that point. Those six crashes have killed four occupants or drivers of these vehicles while seriously injuring another three individuals.
The collision was being investigated by the Minidoka County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Idaho State Police.