(Shawnee County, Kansas – September 9, 2012)
An as-yet unidentified Shawnee County, KS farmer suffered more than just a bloody head wound and abrasions on his arms at about 7:00 P.M. Sunday evening. He also lost his John Deere combine, valued in the six-figure range, when he was unable to see or hear an oncoming Union Pacific freight train at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of Country Side Road.
The 109-car trainload of empty rail cars, which was destined for Colorado after originating in Kentucky, struck the northbound farm implement at the crossing, which is “protected” only by standard, passive railroad crossbuck signs, and has no active protective devices like flashing lights, bells or gates, the presence of which rail sources indicate would eliminate over 90% of such accidents.
Two dozen Union Pacific trains cross at the Country Side Road intersection daily, according to Federal Railroad Administration reports.
The farmer, although visibly injured, refused medical treatment even though American Medical Response personnel were on the scene along with responders from the Silver Lake Fire Dept. and the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Dept.