(Thompson Township, Minnesota – December 7, 2019)
A 41-year-old local woman and a 10-year-old boy were critically injured Saturday afternoon about 1:30 PM, CST in Thompson Township, MN, about 15 miles from Duluth. They were involved in a collision with a Canadian National freight train at the dangerous and unguarded crossing of Canadian National rails and East Stark Road in Carlton County.
The two victims were rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth, where they were both admitted in undisclosed conditions.
The railroad crossing sees a daily average of 11 CN trains at speeds up to 60 mph. However, there are no active warning devices, such as lights and gates, to proactively warn motorists of the oncoming train. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was equipped with lights and gates, this collision would not have happened. Canadian National 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 collisions by as much as 96%.
The crash was being investigated by the Minnesota State Patrol and the Carlton County Sheriff’s Department.