(Stilwell, Oklahoma – October 3, 2012)
A Kansas City Southern locomotive pulling a single boxcar virtually destroyed a United Parcel Service van at the dangerous, unguarded Co-Op crossing of KCS tracks in Stilwell, OK just before noon Wednesday morning, with the truck driver escaping serious injury only because the train hit the passenger side of the truck and the driver was dutifully wearing his seat belt.
The UPS driver had just made a delivery at the Stilwell Co-Op when he encountered the train at the crossing, which has absolutely no active protective systems such as flashing lights, bells or crossing gates, instead depending solely upon standard, passive railroad crossbuck signs to protect motorists from the 22 trains which cross there daily at speeds of up to 40 mph. The train that hit the UPS truck and dragged it a considerable distance was traveling at an estimated 20 mph.
The UPS driver was taken to a local hospital in Stilwell, where he was treated for minor injuries and released. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol was leading the investigation into the accident, assisted by the Stilwell Police Dept. and the Adair County Sheriff’s Dept.