(Anselmo, Nebraska — February 15, 2012)
An 18-wheeler and its load of a Caterpillar forklift were both totally destroyed by a Burlington Northern freight train Wednesday night at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of Custer County Road 429 and BNSF railroad tracks south of Anselmo, NE.
The semi driver, Anton Antonov, of North Miami Beach, FL, who never saw or heard the train, was severely shaken by the collision, which occurred at one of the many Custer County rural road crossings of BNSF’s double-track main line, traversed by neary 60 freight trains daily at speeds of up to 60 mph, and are equipped only with passive railroad crossbuck signs, lacking any automatic lights, bells or gates to protect motorists from oncoming trains.
One member of the train crew was injured and taken to the Jennie M. Melham Memorial Medical Center in Broken Bow, NE.for treatment of undisclosed injuries, while the truck and its load, both valued at over $100,000, were spun around and scattered adjacent to the railroad tracks.
Both Anselmo and Merna Fire and Rescue units as well as Broken Bow Rescue responded to the accident scene.