(Webster City, Iowa – March 29, 2018)
The driver of an 18-wheeler hauling dry agricultural chemicals was injured Thursday morning as he drove his rig southbound on McMurray Avenue near Webster City, IA, and was struck by a westbound Canadian National freight train. The collision occurred at the dangerous and unguarded rural road/rail intersection. The position of the sun may have contributed to the inability of the driver seeing the oncoming train.
The truck driver, Robert Mitchell, was transported to Van Diest Medical Center in Webster City for treatment of crash-related, undisclosed injuries. The CN train involved in the collision was one of eight such trains that cross the Hamilton County Road near 220th Street daily at a maximum allowable speed of 50 mph.
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 CN 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 incident was investigated by troopers from the Iowa State Patrol and Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.