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Semi’s Brakes Fail, Driver Avoids Tragedy at BNSF Grade Crossing

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Fairbanks Township, Minnesota – October 24, 2011)

The driver of an 18-wheeler whose brakes failed as he approached a Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad crossing in St. Louis County, north of Duluth, MN performed an heroic maneuver to avoid a potential tragedy Monday evening about 6:30 P.M.

Shane Andrew Mumm, 32, of Aitkin, MN, saw a BNSF freight train crossing the Townline Road railroad crossing and a line of vehicles stopped and awaiting the train’s passage. Unable to activate his brakes, Mumm swung into the opposite lane, avoiding the stopped vehicles, and headed for a trackside ditch in order to halt his semi.

Unfortunately, the weight and speed of his truck were too great for the ditch’s capability to halt it completely, and Mumm’s truck collided with the last few cars of the train, causing minor damage to the freight cars and front end damage to Mumm’s truck tractor. No one was injured in the accident.


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