Railroad News

Iowa Passenger Killed, Driver Seriously Injured at Non-Gated CN Crossing

(Maynard, Iowa – August 24, 2021)

A 15-year-old Black Hawk County resident was tragically killed last weekend just after 2:00 PM, CDT after the vehicle she was a passenger in was struck by an eastbound CN freight train at the dangerous, non-gated CN crossing. The passenger, Kate Michels, was riding in a car with her sister, Emma Michels, at the time of the collision. Both victims were life-flighted to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. Kate passed away from her injuries Sunday morning. Emma is still receiving treatment from her injuries.

According to railroad-submitted data, there are an average of eleven freight trains that travel through this crossing on a daily basis at speeds up to 50 mph. The vehicle speed limit at this crossing is also 55 mph. Despite these high train and vehicle speeds, there are no gates to provide motorists warning that a train is coming. Studies have demonstrated that the installation of gates can reduce the frequency of collisions by up to two-thirds.

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