Skip to Main Content
Railroad News

Minnesota Dump Truck Driver Hospitalized after Collision with Train at Dangerous, Unguarded BNSF Crossing

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(St. Cloud, Minnesota – July 31, 2017)

A 26-year-old local resident was admitted to a local hospital after his dump truck was struck by a BNSF freight train. The collision occurred at a dangerous and unguarded private crossing near Highway 10 and 32nd Street, SE in St. Cloud, MN at about 7:45 A.M., CDT last Monday morning.

Allen Keene was the driver injured in this collision.  His truck was hit and knocked into a live electrical power pole, necessitating a shutdown of the main thoroughfare for more than two hours. Minneapolis Star-Tribune Reporter Paul Walsh indicated that the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office reported that debris from the auto-hauling train/dump truck collision also caused damage to two semi-trailer trucks and three passenger vehicles which were traveling on the closely-parallel Highway 10.

“Authorities have yet to explain the circumstances involving the collision,” wrote Walsh, who noted that “The crossing has stop signs and (standard, passive railroad) crossbucks, but no gates with arms,” (or flashing lights, either) according to St. Cloud Times Reporter Nora Hertel.

The FRA’s railroad crossing website says that a daily average of 48 BNSF freights and Amtrak passenger trains cross the BNSF double-tracked crossing which so closely parallels Highway 10 that it is physically impossible to safely fit a semi-trailer dump truck between the tracks and the multi-lane highway, making the crossing especially dangerous due to trains approaching at maximum allowable speeds of 75 mph.  It is virtually certain that if this crossing was protected by active warning devices, this collision and the eight before it would not have occurred. Both BNSF and Operation Lifesaver all 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%.



Railroad News


Train crash cases are unique and complex with many different potential pitfalls, such as federal preemption. Anytime I get hired or even get a call from a train crash victim, my very first call is to Nathan’s firm. Nathan’s knowledge and experience in handling and trying cases against these litigation savvy railroad companies gives me the confidence to know that the clients and cases I refer to him are getting the best of the best.

James Perrin Lubbock, Texas

I have had the opportunity to work as co-counsel with Nathan on several railroad crossing accidents cases. In each case, Nathan always possessed an incredible knowledge of the law and the facts, possessed a great talent for aggressive - strategic legal planning and trial tactics while, at the same time, displaying great skill as an effective negotiator. I would recommend him to anyone without hesitation.

Scott McCluen Harriman, Tennessee

Nathan Karlin has my strongest endorsement in the field of railroad crossing cases and personal injury law. I had the pleasure of working with Nathan in a complex railroad personal injury case. I was impressed by Nathan’s knowledge, his work ethic, and his dedication to the client. I look forward to working with Nathan on future injury matters. I am also aware firsthand that he has obtained excellent trial and settlement results in numerous cases involving members of the public harmed by railroad companies.

Joseph M. Miller Mandeville, Louisiana

Nathan is a warrior fighting the railroads. As a fellow personal injury lawyer, I have constantly been impressed with his depth of knowledge and his capabilities from case to case. I’d take him into battle with me any day against the biggest railroads and insurance companies on the planet.

Jon C. Clark Austin, Texas

Bob Pottroff has fought for the victims of the railroads’ callous disregard for safety more than any other attorney that I know. I should know because I am currently Chair-elect of the Railroad Section of ATLA.

Robert Schuetze Boulder, Colorado

Mr. Pottroff has shaken the rail industry to its very roots. Settlements are now more common as a result of the way he has exposed the industry’s wrongdoing.

Mike Easley Arkansas

Bob Pottroff’s work in railroad safety law is unmatched and he has been the source of great advice and phenomenal creativity.

Roger Brown Jefferson City, Missouri

In addition to his substantive contributions to railroad grade crossing safety, I have personally observed his untiring efforts and contributions to improving the integrity of the legal system.

Elizabeth Hardy Lake Charles, Louisiana

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8