(Perry County, Illinois – March 24, 2014)
A 27-year-old area man received serious injuries early Monday afternoon at about 1:35 P.M. when the pickup truck he was driving was struck by a Canadian National Railway freight train at the dangerous, unguarded and obscured crossing of Tanglefoot Road and CNR railroad tracks between Pinckneyville and Du Quoin in Scott County, IL.
Adding to the fact that the railroad crossing, which, according to Federal Railroad Administration statistics, is used by an average of eight CNR trains daily at a top allowable speed of 60 mph, the crossing is steeply-elevated, enshrouded by heavy tree lines and underbrush and it does not have 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%.
Jeremy Nehrkorn of Pinckneyville was airlifted by ARCH helicopter service to a hospital in the St. Louis, MO area for treatment of unspecified, but obviously serious, injuries. His vehicle was a total loss.
Jeremy Nehrkorn succumbed to his serious injuries after he was airlifted to the St. Louis University Medical Center.