(Osage, Iowa – October 28, 2014)
The driver of a semi-trailer truck loaded with harvested Iowa corn headed for the grain elevator had the misfortune of becoming the victim of repetitious history Tuesday afternoon at about 2:55 P.M., CDT in the community of Osage, IA when his truck was virtually cut in half by a northbound Canadian National freight train as he attempted to cross the dangerous and unguarded crossing of Mechanic Street and CNR tracks near the Osage Co-Op elevator.
Local resident Kolby Berg, 23, as well as an unidentified passenger riding in the tractor’s cab, were lucky to escape death at the crossing. Meanwhile, the Osage Police Dept. told KIMT-TV, News Channel 3, that “the incident is still under investigation and charges are pending.”
The crossing is not equipped with any active warning devices, such as lights and gates, to warn motorists of an approaching train. It is virtually certain that if equipped with lights and gates this accident would not have happened. Both Canadian National and Operation Lifesaver know lights and gates are the most effective type of protection at railroad crossings. Studies that have been conducted over fifty years ago confirm that lights and gates offer the ability to drastically reduce the number of vehicle/train accidents by as much as 96%.
Also, according to the Federal Railroad Administration’s database, which is self-reported by the railroads, the Federal Railroad Administration’s crossing inventory system claims that zero trains ever cross there, but if they did, they could operate at a maximum speed of 40 mph.