(Alden, Minnesota – July 6, 2016)
A 67-year-old Albert Lea, MN dump truck driver was pronounced dead at the scene of a collision between his northbound vehicle and a westbound Canadian Pacific freight train being powered by two locomotives. The collision occurred at the dangerous and unguarded crossing of 220th Street and CP tracks in Freeborn County, MN, at about 4:00 P.M., CDT, near Alden, MN.
The driver, Theodore Arthur Yost, likely never heard nor saw the train as it approached the “uncontrolled intersection” about a mile west of Alden.
According to Federal Railroad Administration records, only one train uses the crossing at a maximum allowable speed of 40 mph. Wednesday’s fatality was reported to be the first accident to occur at that particular intersection.
Even though the road is on a daily school bus route it is not equipped with any active warning devices, such as lights and gates. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was equipped with lights and gates, this collision would not have happened. Both Canadian Pacific 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%.