(Deer River, Minnesota – August 3, 2012)
The driver of an 18-wheeler was seriously injured and his rig destroyed Friday morning near Deer River, MN, when his semi was struck by an eastbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of BNSF tracks and Cedar Road.
Keith Graves, 42, of Bovey, MN was westbound on Minnesota Highway 2 when he made a left turn and had his 2003 Freightliner tractor and trailer totaled by the train at a crossing “protected” only by a pair of standard railroad crossbuck signs, lacking any active protective devices such as flashing lights, bells or crossing gates.
Graves was taken to the Deer River Health Care Center, where he was admitted in stable condition.
The accident was the third at the crossing, over which eight trains pass daily at speeds of up to 49 mph, as well as the third injury suffered there. Investigating the accident were the Deer River Police Dept., the Minnesota State Patrol and the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office.