(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.