(Danube, Minnesota – May 2, 2015)
A resident of rural Danube, MN was seriously injured and flown to a hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries after his southbound pickup truck was struck by an eastbound Twin Cities & Western Railroad freight train at the dangerous and unguarded crossing of 270th Street and TC&W tracks two miles west of Danube, MN in Renville County Saturday, May 2 about 2:44 P.M., CDT.
Chad William Amsden, 35, was airlifted by North Memorial Air Care to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, MN, for treatment of undisclosed injuries.
The crossing accommodates a pair of TC&W trains at a maximum speed of 30 mph. The unguarded crossing is also on the route of two school buses every school day, but has no active warning system such as flashing lights, bells or crossing gates to help prevent tragedies like the one that occurred just across the Minnesota/North Dakota state line in Larimore, ND four months ago.
It is virtually certain that if equipped with lights and gates this accident would not have happened. Both Twin Cities & Western Railroad 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%.
The accident is under investigation by the Renville County Sheriff’s Dept.
The TC&W, headquartered in Glencoe, MN, is one of three Class III short line railroads under the ownership of and operation by the same railroad conglomerate group.