(York, Nebraska – August 7, 2011)
Three people from Lincoln, NE returning from a weekend of exhibiting mercantile goods at the York County Fair in York, NE, were struck by a BNSF freight train as they drove their Chevy Trailblazer northward across Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway tracks at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of York County Road “N” two miles east of York a little before 5:00 P.M. Sunday afternoon.
The driver, James R. Crumb, 29, and his 10-year-old daughter, Zoe Crumb, were both injured and were transported by the York Fire Dept. to Lincoln General Hospital West in Lincoln, NE. Another passenger, Dustin Powley, 24, was uninjured in the near-tragedy which occurred at the crossing which lacks any electronic protective devices (lights, bells or gates) whatsoever, using only a passive railroad crossbuck sign to “warn” motorists of the presence of railroad tracks.
Although, as is so frequently the fact, the driver had no recollection of the accident, he had allegedly been consulting his GPS device for directions in an unfamiliar area. “This was an issue of driver error as he wasn’t paying attention at the crossing,” charged an unsympathetic York County Sheriff Dale Radcliff. Amazingly and fortunately, no one was killed.
The vehicle was determined to be a total loss after it was struck by the locomotive of the eastbound train and flung off the tracks, coming to rest on the south side of the railroad.