(Maud, Illinois – November 16, 2012)
A north eastbound Norfolk Southern freight train emerged from behind a large grove of trees at a severely acute angled crossing of NS rails and Wabash County North 1250 Boulevard near the community of Maud, IL a few minutes after noon Saturday, and collided with an eastbound Mack tank truck at the dangerous, unguarded crossing.
The train struck the rear of the truck, knocking the tank from the chassis, shoving the heavily-damaged truck into a ditch, and severely injuring the truck driver, David R. Morris, 38, of Albion, IL. The victim was first treated at the scene by local EMT’s, and was then flown by Air Evac helicopter to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, IN.
Not only was the crossing obscured by the large grove of trees and on about a 30 degree approach angle, but it is “protected” only by a pair of standard, passive railroad crossbuck signs and highway yield signs, having no active protection such as flashing lights, bells and crossing gates. Railroad sources generally have said that such active devices would halt a good 90% of all grade crossing accidents.
Wabash County Sheriff Joe Keeling reported that the tank truck was owned by Haggard Well Service in Mount Carmel, IL.