Railroad News

Missouri Motorist Killed at Notorious, Unguarded Crossing

By December 18, 2012 No Comments

(Montserrat, Missouri – December 15, 2012)

A 52-year-old Warrensburg, MO resident was seriously injured and later died after being flown by helicopter to Research Hospital in Kansas City, MO when he was involved in the ninth accident – the second one this year – at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of Union Pacific Railroad tracks and Johnson County Road 115 NE near Montserrat, MO early Saturday afternoon about 1:13 P.M., when his northbound 1997 Chevrolet was struck by a westbound Amtrak passenger train.

John M. Brown died Sunday evening at 6:29 P.M. at Research. The victim and his vehicle had approached the crossing and was hit by the train in the rear passenger side.

The approach to the CR NE 115 for westbound trains on Union Pacific Railroad tracks is at an extremely acute 30 degree angle, making them extremely difficult for motorists to see. The UPRR parallels U.S. 50 Highway, and reports from the Federal Railroad Administration as well as Union Pacific claim there are standard, passive crossbuck signs on each approach to the crossing, but such is not true. The lone crossbuck “protects” traffic exiting the highway, and the claim of stop signs being present at the deadly intersection is equally false. Only a commemorative cross, honoring the victims of the 1992 accident, is visible on the approach side of the tracks.

The death marked the third fatality to occur at the crossing (a double fatality on September 9, 1992 also involved an Amtrak passenger train. Meanwhile, the eight other accidents occurring there have resulted in a total of four non-fatal injuries.

With regard to the earlier 2012 incident, which injured one person and occurred July 7, the crash involved a UPRR freight train headed westbound and consisting of a single locomotive and 40 freight cars traveling at 36 mph.

Numerous incorrect news media reports issued Saturday erroneously listed the locomotive engineer as the injured victim.

Investigating the accident were Missouri State Highway Patrol Troopers J. T. Langsdale and D. L. Johnson, as well as the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.