Railroad News

Third Utah Victim Dies in Collision at Dangerous, Unguarded Union Pacific Crossing

(Provo, Utah – June 24, 2020)

The driver of the car that was struck by one of six daily Union Pacific trains died of his injuries early Wednesday morning. received The tragedy occurred last Saturday at the dangerous and unguarded crossing of Burraston Road near Mona, UT in Juab County. The driver, 22-year-old Jacob Michael Cottle of La Plata, MD, had been airlifted to the Utah Valley Hospital in Provo, UT. He was on life support until his death early Wednesday.

Saturday’s tragedy killed both Cottle’s girlfriend, Cassandra Brielle Hatch, 22, of Gilbert, AZ, and his former Mission Partner Tanner Ryan Davies, 22, of Spanish Fork, UT.

Two earlier collisions at the unguarded rail crossing included both a non-injury event, as well as one on August 6, 2015, which injured four occupants of a car when it, too, was hit by a Union Pacific train.

The trio was struck by a Union Pacific freight train at the crossing which lacked both flashing lights and crossing gates to warn of the approach of trains traveling at speeds as high as 50 mph.  It is virtually certain that lights and gates could have prevented this collision and the two before it. 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 collisions by as much as 96%.