(Stanley, North Dakota – July 4, 2018)
A 60-year-old resident of Mandan, ND was stopped and awaiting the passage of an eastbound BNSF freight train at a dangerous and unguarded, double-track country road crossing five miles west of Stanley, ND. He then proceeded south over the tracks and into the path of a westbound BNSF train that had been hidden from his view by the eastbound train he had waited for.
Myron Aune died from multiple injuries he incurred after his red pickup pulled into the path of the hidden train at 9:12 A.M., MDT.
Federal Railroad Administration records report that a daily average of 40 BNSF freight and Amtrak passenger trains cross the county road /BNSF intersection.
It is virtually certain that this collision would not have occurred if the crossing was equipped with active warning devices. Both BNSF and Operation Lifesaver know that lights and gates are the most effective type of protection at railroad crossings and studies have confirmed that lights and gates offer the ability to drastically reduce the number of vehicle/train collisions by as much as 96%.