(Belgrade, Montana — December 10, 2018)
How a now-hospitalized semi-trailer dump truck driver survived a collision with a
A semi-trailer dump truck driver was seriously injured after his truck was struck by a Montana Rail Link freight train late Monday afternoon about 2:48 P.M., MST. The victim was an employee of TMC. After the collision, the employee was taken to Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital for treatment of crash-related injuries described as “serious.” The truck was described as “demolished” by witnesses, one of whom, Dave Haley, observed that it was reduced to the state of which “there was nothing left of it.”
Although the Gravel Pit Road crossing is actually on a stretch of the publically-maintained Dollar Drive after it crosses Frontage Road, it is listed as a “private” crossing. According to the Federal Railroad Administration records, twenty-eight MRL freight trains pass over the crossing daily at a maximum allowable speed of 60 mph. The Federal Railroad Administration records also reveal that there was a prior semi-truck injury collision at this crossing in October 2016.
Despite the previous collision and high-speed train operations, as KBZK-TV, Channel 7 News in Bozeman noted, “There are no crossing arms at the location.” It is virtually certain that if this crossing was equipped with lights and gates, this would not have happened. Both MRL and Operation Lifesaver all 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%.