(Minot, North Dakota – February 6, 2012)
Two out-of-town truckers narrowly escaped death, but not injury, when their 18-wheeler was virtually destroyed in a collision with a north-westbound Canadian Pacific freight train at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of 69th Street NW and CP railroad tracks in Minot, ND Monday morning about 10:16 A.M..
Semi driver Francis Derose Jr., 45, of Axle, TX, and his co-worker, David Stevens, 43, of Dover, AR, survived only through the proper use of their seat belts when they left D and T Trucking in the Del Nor Drive Industrial District. The pair was headed for U.S. Highway 52, a four-lane divided highway that parallels CP tracks in the northwest part of Minot, ND, and immediately encountered the crossing which is “protected” only by passive railroad crossbuck signs and is equipped with no automatic lights, bells or gates to prevent such collisions. The driver said he never saw the train, but heard the horn after it was too late to stop.
The CP freight struck the semi’s cab, ripping it from the tractor frame and rolling it into a trackside ditch 40 feet away, and then carried the truck’s frame a quarter-mile beyond the point of impact before it came to a stop.
Both victims were taken to Trinity Hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries as North Dakota Highway Patrol and CP Rail authorities investigated the accident.