Railroad News

Two Iowans Seriously Injured at Dangerous, Unguarded Canadian National Crossing

(Nashua, Iowa – March 1, 2016)

A collision between a train of Canadian National Railway subsidiary, Cedar River Railroad, Tuesday morning at the dangerous, unguarded and questionably-listed crossing of CN/CEDR tracks and Woodbridge Avenue in Nashua, IA sent both the truck driver as well as a railroad employee to nearby hospitals at  about 9:30 A.M., CST.

Both truck driver, Jeremy Janssen, 40, of Nashua, IA, who was taken by Chicasaw Ambulance Service to Waverly Health Center in Waverly, IA, while the 56-year old conductor of the train which consisted of three locomotives powering 98 freight cars, Donald Ahihelm of Osage, IA, was transported to the Floyd County Memorial Hospital in Charles City, IA, where each was admitted for treatment of injuries described only as “non-serious” in nature.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration’s railroad crossing inventory listing for the CN/CEDR/Woodbridge Avenue grade crossing, no trains cross the intersection, at least not on a daily basis, but if they did, they could do so at a maximum speed of 40 mph, and that in 2005, one of these trains struck another grain-carrying semi-trailer truck at the same location in a non-injury accident.

It is virtually certain that if this crossing was equipped with lights and gates, this tragedy would not have happened. Both Canadian National and Operation Lifesaver know that 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%.

Personnel and equipment from the Iowa State Patrol, Nashua Police Dept. and Nashua Fire Dept.  all responded to the crash.