(Mountain Home, Idaho – January 8, 2016)
An as-yet unidentified 18-wheeler driver, said to be in his 60’s, was injured Friday morning at about 10:30 A.M., MST when a westbound Union Pacific freight train smashed into his semi-trailer at the dangerous and unguarded single track crossing of UPRR rails and Cinder Butte Road near Mountain Home, ID.
The Elmore County Sheriff’s Office said that the victim, who was still in his truck and restrained by his harness, was taken to St. Luke’s Elmore Medical Center after the collision.
The road/rail intersection of Cinder Butte Road and UPRR is crossed daily by an average of 34 trains at a top allowable speed of 79 mph according to information obtained from the Federal Railroad Administration. Yet, the railroad crossing lacks any form of active warning protection, such as lights and gates. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was equipped with lights and gates, this accident would not have happened. 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%