(Harrison County, Iowa – May 20, 2013)
An as-yet unidentified, by gender, age, name or residence, pedestrian was struck and killed by an eastbound Union Pacific freight train that had just crossed the Missouri River bridge on its way from California to Chicago in the Iowa border county of Harrison County at about 2:00 P.M. early Monday afternoon.
The train, which Union Pacific Spokesman Mark Davis said was hauling 110 freight cars at a speed estimated as between 60 and 45 mph on a line which sees a daily average of 56 trains at speeds as high as 70 mph, had just crossed the Missouri River, which divides Nebraska from Iowa.
Escape from the pedestrian’s location was virtually impossible, as the UPRR line crosses the bridge at Blair, NE, and then parallels The Lincoln Highway (U.S. 30) for a considerable distance via a high levee that leaves little room for anything but railroad tracks and trains.
Harrison County Sheriff Pat Sears could offer little information on how the accident occurred or identity of the victim, pending notification of relatives. The victim’s body was transported to Community Memorial Hospital in Missouri Valley, IA, while UPRR said its two-person train crew was being offered counseling.