(Joice, Iowa June 25, 2012)
Wayne Roberts of Clear Lake, IA, a 76-year-old semi-trailer truck driver, was hospitalized in good condition after his rig was struck and flipped onto its side by a Union Pacific freight train at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of Lake Street and UPRR tracks in Joice, IA Monday afternoon.
The collision occurred at a crossing marked only by standard, passive railroad crossbucks as well as a sign indicating the presence of “four tracks”, but which completely lacked any form of automatic protection such as flashing lights, bells or crossing gates.
Union Pacific Public Relations Manager Mark Davis said there were both “white crossing warning signs and stop signs” at the crossing, even though Federal Railroad Administration crossing inventory reports indicate no presence of a stop sign. Regardless, Davis added that “A UP investigation report said the sheriff’s department said Roberts may be cited with failure to yield,” which obviously meant the railroad’s police department was “encouraging” their public counterparts to plead their case for them.
Davis also said that “The UP will review the crash information to determine the speed of the train.” Whether or not such information will be shared with the Worth County Sheriff’s Office is another question.
According to FRA statistics, the accident was the fourth at the Lake Street/UPRR crossing, and the second injury suffered there.