(St. Croix County, Wisconsin – October 28, 2013)
A St.Croix County, WI resident driving a truck hauling a tank containing 2,000 gallons of liquid manure was seriously injured Monday afternoon just before 1:00 P.M. when his farm truck and flatbed trailer were struck by a Canadian National Railway subsidiary Wisconsin Central freight train at the dangerous and unguarded crossing of CNR tracks and 150th Avenue northeast of Glenwood City, WI.
The tank was impaled upon the front of the train’s locomotive and carried several hundred feet down the track, leaking the manure from a puncture in the tank, and winding up on a railroad trestle crossing Sandy Creek, where an undetermined amount of the liquid fecal matter leaked into the creek. Officials were then forced to report the spill to the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources.
Driver of the truck was Anthony Minke, 19, who was rushed to a local hospital for treatment of undetermined injuries.
The 150th Avenue/CNR crossing, which has now been the site of four train/motor vehicle collisions, has no active protective devices such as flashing lights, bells or crossing gates, which have the capability to warn highway users of the impending approach of any of the half-dozen trains that cross there daily at a top allowable speed of 40 mph. 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%.