Railroad News

North Dakota Man in Motorized Wheelchair Stuck in Rail, Hit by BNSF Train

(Jamestown, North Dakota – April 21, 2016)

A 60-year-old Jamestown resident, Dennis Schneider, attempted to drive the motorized wheelchair across the Second Avenue Southeast and BNSF railroad tracks when he became stuck.  Before anyone could help him, Mr. Schneider was struck by one of the 20 BNSF freight trains that operate over the crossing at speeds up to 35 mph.

The eastbound BNSF freight train came to a halt about 75 yards after striking the imperiled man, who could do nothing to remove himself from harm’s way due to his incapability to walk.

Although the crossing possesses a high degree of sophisticated warning signals and even pedestrian prevention protection, the pathways through which the flanges of the rail wheels pass were vulnerable.

Schneider, who was first taken to Jamestown Regional Medical Center by Jamestown Area Ambulance, was lying in critical condition at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo after being airlifted there when his injuries were determined to be too serious for the Jamestown medical facility to remedy.