Skip to Main Content
Railroad News

Snow Plow/Truck Hit By Train At Dangerous, Unguarded Rural Crossing, Vehicle Destroyed

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Grandy, Minnesota – January 30, 2012)

The driver of a privately-owned combination Mack dump truck/snow plow was severely injured when his vehicle was hit by a BNSF freight train at the rural Isanti County, MN crossing of Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks and 369th Avenue Northeast near Grandy, MN Monday morning just before 11:00 A.M.

The driver of the truck, Lief Frauendienst, 28, of North Branch, MN, had to be partially extricated from the wreckage of the truck, which was westbound on the snow-packed 369th Avenue when it was hit by the northbound 39-car train traveling at 46 mph at the crossing, which is equipped only with standard railroad crossbuck signs and highway stop signs, lacking any form of automatic protection (lights, bells or gates) which might have prevented the tragedy.

Frauendienst stopped his truck at the stop signs, but then proceeded across the tracks, apparently not having seen or heard the approaching train.

The victim was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN, where he was admitted in serious condition.


Railroad News


Train crash cases are unique and complex with many different potential pitfalls, such as federal preemption. Anytime I get hired or even get a call from a train crash victim, my very first call is to Nathan’s firm. Nathan’s knowledge and experience in handling and trying cases against these litigation savvy railroad companies gives me the confidence to know that the clients and cases I refer to him are getting the best of the best.

James Perrin Lubbock, Texas

I have had the opportunity to work as co-counsel with Nathan on several railroad crossing accidents cases. In each case, Nathan always possessed an incredible knowledge of the law and the facts, possessed a great talent for aggressive - strategic legal planning and trial tactics while, at the same time, displaying great skill as an effective negotiator. I would recommend him to anyone without hesitation.

Scott McCluen Harriman, Tennessee

Nathan Karlin has my strongest endorsement in the field of railroad crossing cases and personal injury law. I had the pleasure of working with Nathan in a complex railroad personal injury case. I was impressed by Nathan’s knowledge, his work ethic, and his dedication to the client. I look forward to working with Nathan on future injury matters. I am also aware firsthand that he has obtained excellent trial and settlement results in numerous cases involving members of the public harmed by railroad companies.

Joseph M. Miller Mandeville, Louisiana

Nathan is a warrior fighting the railroads. As a fellow personal injury lawyer, I have constantly been impressed with his depth of knowledge and his capabilities from case to case. I’d take him into battle with me any day against the biggest railroads and insurance companies on the planet.

Jon C. Clark Austin, Texas

Bob Pottroff has fought for the victims of the railroads’ callous disregard for safety more than any other attorney that I know. I should know because I am currently Chair-elect of the Railroad Section of ATLA.

Robert Schuetze Boulder, Colorado

Mr. Pottroff has shaken the rail industry to its very roots. Settlements are now more common as a result of the way he has exposed the industry’s wrongdoing.

Mike Easley Arkansas

Bob Pottroff’s work in railroad safety law is unmatched and he has been the source of great advice and phenomenal creativity.

Roger Brown Jefferson City, Missouri

In addition to his substantive contributions to railroad grade crossing safety, I have personally observed his untiring efforts and contributions to improving the integrity of the legal system.

Elizabeth Hardy Lake Charles, Louisiana

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8