(Henrietta, Missouri – August 26, 2014)
A farmer from Richmond, MO received serious injuries last Tuesday afternoon at about 2:30 P.M. when the 2006 John Deere tractor he was operating northbound on Main Street in the Ray County community of Henrietta, MO was struck by an eastbound Norfolk Southern freight train at the dangerous and unguarded crossing of Main Street and NS Railway tracks just south of the city’s downtown area.
Mark Minnick, 53, was airlifted by Lifeflight helicopter to Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, MO for treatment of his injuries received when the train’s lead locomotive hit and overturned the tractor, ejecting the victim.
The Main Street crossing of NS tracks does not have any active warning devices, such as lights and gates to warn of the approach of 22 trains which operate across Main Street daily at a top allowable speed of 50 mph. It is virtually certain that if equipped with lights and gates this accident would not have happened. Both Norfolk Southern and Operation Lifesaver all know 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%