Railroad News

Iowa Snowplow Driver Injured by Train at Dangerous, Unguarded Crossing

By February 26, 2019 No Comments

(Altoona, Iowa – February 20, 2019)

A Polk County, IA snowplow operator narrowly escaped death when the plow he was driving was struck and dragged by an Iowa Interstate Railroad train. The collusion occurred at the unguarded crossing of NE 88th Street in Altoona, IA about 8:15 AM Wednesday morning.

Iowa State Patrol trooper Alex Dinkla did not release the name of the unfortunate plow operator, but did say that “the driver didn’t see the train coming and it hit the snowplow on the passenger side, pushing it 300 feet down the tracks,” according to WHO-TV.

The driver was transported to a local hospital for treatment of his crash-related injuries.

The crossing of IAIS tracks and NE 88th Street is not equipped with any active safety devices, such as flashing lights and gates.  Those devices almost certainly would have prevented the collision.  Studies 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%.