(Erie, Kansas – November 5, 2011)
A 2001 Oldsmobile driven by 21-year-old Zachary Scott Harding of Parsons, KS was hit by a Union Pacific freight train early Saturday morning at the dangerous, unguarded intersection of UPRR tracks and 150th Street a mile northeast of Erie, KS, killing Harding and seriously injuring his passenger.
Jacob Frederick Johnson, also 21 and of Parsons, KS, was taken to Freeman Hospital in Joplin, MO with multiple injuries after the train hit the passenger side of the vehicle. The 150th Street crossing of Union Pacific has no lights, bells or gates, relying simply on standard railroad crossbuck signs as “protection” for the driving public against trains.
The highway intersection and road configuration of 150th Street, UP tracks and Queen Road, which parallels the Union Pacific, is at an odd angle, making vehicular traffic approaches to the crossing extremely difficult.