(Alburnett, Iowa – February 18, 2021)
An Alburnett, Iowa man was transported by ambulance to a local hospital after his tractor-trailer was struck by a northbound Canadian National freight train. The collision occurred at the dangerous, unguarded crossing on Arabian Road in Linn County, Iowa.
The Arabian Road Crossing was the site of a previous collision in October of 2016, which resulted in the tragic death of Scott Blackford. The crossing has also been the site of three other prior collisions, resulting in two additional injuries. In total, three people have been injured at this crossing and one person killed.
The skewed angle of the crossing, coupled with site obstructing vegetation and earth berms in multiple quadrants makes this crossing extremely dangerous. To further complicate the driving task, trains traverse this crossing at speeds up to 40 mph and the posted highway vehicle speed approaching this crossing is 50 mph.
Regardless of the amount of rail or road traffic, it is physically impossible for a motorist to be alerted to the presence of an oncoming train when neither flashing lights, bells nor crossing gates are present and properly operating at a railroad crossing.
Despite the four prior collisions, and the sight obstructing vegetation/earth berms, this crossing lacks those necessary warning devices. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was equipped with lights and gates, this collision and the tragic death and injuries to numerous travelers would not have happened. 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%.