(Saline County, Nebraska – May 14, 2013)
A 40-year-old Dorchester, NE man lost his life early Tuesday morning at about 5:20 A.M. when his northbound red 1988 Dodge pickup truck was destroyed by an eastbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train at the dangerous, unguarded double-track crossing of Saline County Road 1300 just north of Nebraska State Highway 33, west of Dorchester, NE.
Brad A. Kasl was pronounced dead at the scene after the collision at the grade crossing “protected” only by standard, passive railroad crossbuck signs and lacking any of the flashing lights, bells and crossing gates which an Association of American Railroads study proclaimed would prevent 93% of accidents and deaths, such as Tuesday’s tragedy.
The crossing sees a daily average of 20 trains, which include two Amtrak “California Zephyr” operations, one in each direction, at top allowable speeds of 79 mph.
Investigating the tragedy were Saline County Sheriff’s Office deputies, with influence from BNSF Police officers.