(Sioux City, Iowa – February 29, 2016)
An unsuspecting and, as yet, unidentified semi-trailer truck driver from Defiance, IA, came within inches of death Monday afternoon at about 4:38 P.M., CST, when his 18-wheeler was struck and cut in half by a Union Pacific freight train at a dangerous, unguarded private railroad crossing near the entrance to Kent Foods just west of Singing Hills Boulevard in Sioux City, IA.
Sioux City Police Dept. Officer Andrew Dutler said that the driver “did not see the train as it (the semi) was turning into the parking lot,” adding that “the train used the horn to notify the driver, then braked.”
However, since rules regarding rail crossings designated as “private” do not require the sounding of train horns as they approach such intersections, there was no indication as to whether the warning came before the semi actually occupied the road/rail crossing, or was sounded after a collision was unavoidable and, as such, to provide railroad defense regarding the issue.
According to information obtained from the Federal Railroad Administration’s railroad crossing inventory, a daily average of 10 UPRR trains travel through the crossing at a maximum permissible speed of 30 mph.
The accident forced westbound traffic on heavily-traveled Singing Hills Boulevard to detour from its normal path of access entry to IH-29 during the Monday afternoon/evening rush hour.