(Cass Lake, Minnesota – March 23, 2014)
The driver of a semi-trailer truck received serious injuries Sunday afternoon at about 4:09 P.M. when the 1998 Mack 600 Super tractor he was driving was struck by a BNSF freight train at the dangerous and unguarded crossing of Pike Bay Loop Road NW near Cass Lake, MN.
Thomas Gregerson, 43, of Cass Lake, MN was transported to Sanford Health Medical Center in Bemidji, MN for treatment of undisclosed injuries after his 18-wheeler was broadsided by the BNSF freight train, one of seven that cross there daily at a top permissible speed of 49 mph.
The BNSF/Pike Bay Loop NW crossing is lacking any active warning devices, such as lights and gates. It is virtually certain that lights and gates would have prevented this incident. Both Canadian National and Operation Lifesaver know lights and gates are the most effective type of protection at railroad crossings. 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 accidents by as much as 96%.
Responding to the accident were the Minnesota State Patrol, Cass County Sheriff’s Dept. and Cass Lake Police Dept.