(Hutchinson, Kansas – September 30, 2015)
A 72-year-old local area motorist was injured and had his northbound motor vehicle severely damaged after it was struck by a Union Pacific Railroad track-mounted Rail Anchor Applicator maintenance of way machine as it first triggered and then released crossing gates, and then moved east across the signalized crossing of Maple Street and UPRR tracks near Avenue D in Hutchinson, KS as the gates, according to witnesses, stayed in an upright, non-restrictive position at about 12:26 P.M., CDT early Wednesday afternoon.
Richard D. Meyer of South Hutchinson, KS was treated for abrasions to his arms by Reno County EMS personnel at the scene and did not immediately require hospitalization. The as-yet unidentified operator of the on-track vehicle was also checked out by EMS first responders.
Hutchinson Police Dept. Sgt. Brian Hirt told Hutchinson News Reporter Ashley Booker that “According to witnesses, the crossing arms had been down for a (railroad) vehicle which went earlier, then they came up again when this vehicle (the rail anchor applicator) crossed, and they didn’t come down again until after the collision.”
The collision, which occurred at a point just behind the victim’s vehicle’s driver’s door, “pushed and spun Dixon’s vehicle around, although he (Dixon) was not driving terribly fast,” reported Booker.
Sgt. Hirt further told the reporter that the accident investigation “as to who had the right-of-way and who didn’t,” was still open.