(Cambridge, Nebraska – November 19, 2014)
With his pickup truck stuck on a single-lane rural crossing a mile west of Cambridge, NE, a Colorado man was critically injured when he could not exit his vehicle in time to escape a BNSF freight train last Wednesday morning at about 10:30 A.M., CST.
Jared Breinig, 37, of Fort Collins, CO was airlifted to Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, NE, where he was admitted in critical condition. His condition had not improved by Thursday, causing officials much concern.
The road crossing is not equipped with any active warning devices, such as lights and gates to warn motorists of the approach of any of the 16 daily trains, including a pair of Amtrak passenger operations, which cross there at speeds as high as 79 mph.
It is virtually certain that if equipped with lights and gates this accident would not have happened. Both BNSF 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 accidents by as much as 96%.