(Dudley, Missouri – December 22, 2012)
Three residents of Essex, Missouri received serious injuries Saturday morning at about 10:40 A.M. when the pickup truck they were in was struck by an eastbound Union Pacific freight train at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of Stoddard County Road 691 and UPRR tracks southwest of Dudley, MO near old Highway 60.
The driver, Gary Sanders, 47, was airlifted to St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, MO for treatment, while his two passengers, Karl E. Christian, 21, and Kayla L. Christian, 27, were transported by ambulance to St. Francis and Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center, respectively.
The crossing of UP tracks and CR 691 accommodates an average of two dozen trains daily at speeds of up to 70mph, and has now been the scene of four accidents resulting in a total of two deaths and five serious injuries. Yet, the crossing is “protected” solely by standard, passive railroad crossbuck signs, completely lacking active devise such as flashing lights, gates and bells which railroad sources have indicated could eliminate 90% of such accidents.
Responding to the accident were the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Stoddard Count Sheriff’s Office, Stoddard County EMS, and Dudley Fire Dept.