(Fremont County, Idaho – October 6, 2014)
A 52-year-old driving an 18-wheeler was sent to Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg, ID after her Peterbilt tractor and trailer were struck and heavily damaged by an Eastern Idaho Railroad freight train at the dangerous and unguarded crossing of 200 North near Sugar City, ID Monday afternoon about 5:00 P.M.
Lori Clark of Arco, ID was driving westbound into the setting sun when she crossed the tracks and stopped for traffic at the intersection with Highway 20. She was then struck by the train she never saw nor was given warning of its approach due to the absence of any form of active crossing protection such as flashing lights, bells and crossing gates, devices.
It is virtually certain that if equipped with lights and gates this accident would not have happened. Both Eastern Idaho Railroad and Operation Lifesaver all 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%.
According to Federal Railroad Administration figures, Monday’s collision marked the third crash and second injury suffered at the EIRR/200N intersection, where a daily average of four freight trains cross at a top allowable speed of 40 mph.
The Eastern Idaho Railroad is part of the privately-owned, Pittsburg, KS-based Watco Regional and Short Line railroad empire.