(Liberty, Missouri – September 26, 2018)
The driver of a City of Liberty Parks & Recreation Dept. truck died a few hours after being taken to a local hospital when the city truck he was driving was struck and overturned by an eastbound Norfolk Southern freight train. The collision occurred at the private, unguarded and dangerous crossing accessing the City of Liberty’s tree limb disposal area just off Old Missouri Highway 210 about 9:40 AM, CDT Wednesday. Another employee in the vehicle remains hospitalized in serious injuries.
The two employees had unlocked and opened a security gate, waited for the passing of another train, and then apparently pulled into the path of a second train they never saw until too late.
Killed was the driver, Cameron Leeds, 26, of Gladstone, MO, a three-year employee of the City of Liberty. He was trapped in the wreckage of the truck and had to be extricated by Liberty firefighters. The unidentified passenger, a 58-year-old , 20-year employee of the City, was admitted to the hospital in stable condition for his crash-related injuries.
Federal Railroad Administration indicates that daily averages of 20 NS trains cross there at a maximum allowable speed of 60 mph, and that there was no record of previous collisions there.
“We have lost a young and vibrant member of our Liberty family today,” lamented Liberty City Administrator Curt Wenson in a statement issued to the media Wednesday.
KCTV News Channel 5 reported that Liberty Police “were investigating if the workers’ view was obstructed and whether there were any warning signals that would have alerted them a second train (was) crossing.”