(Reeseville, Wisconsin – May 21, 2011)
Two local male residents, the 41-year-old driver and his 48-year-old passenger, died about 5:40 P.M. Saturday afternoon when their 1992 Ford Ranger pickup truck was hit by an eastbound Amtrak passenger train at the Main Street/County Road G crossing of Canadian Pacific Railroad tracks.
Dodge County Sheriff’s officers and Wisconsin State Patrol troopers were investigating the accident in which the motorist allegedly drove around lowered crossing gates. In order to further muddy the waters, it was acknowledged that it was “too early to tell whether alcohol was a factor”
The Seattle-to-Chicago Amtrak train was carrying 181 passengers, none of whom were injured in the tragedy.
The damaged pickup, which caught fire after the impact, was thrown into the crossing’s signal system control box and mast, causing the railroad to issue a temporary “slow order.” It also became necessary to maintain human flagman to protect the crossing until the signals can be replaced. Railroads frequently take as long as a year to install new automated signals. Hopefully CPR will not delay in providing replacement automated protection for this dangerous railroad crossing.