(Platteville, Colorado – November 20, 2018)
Two as-yet-unidentified victims died early Tuesday morning when their Nissan Altima was struck and overturned by a Union Pacific freight train as they attempted to cross Union Pacific tracks as they drove eastbound on Weld County Road 34 in Platteville, CO.
Platteville Police investigating the collision would not reveal the names, ages or places of residence for either of the victims pending notification of next of kin. The collision occurred at 5:55 AM, MST.
Federal Railroad Administration records say that the CR 34 crossing handles a daily average of 10 UPRR trains and that these trains can travel at speeds as high as 60 mph. The FRA’s rail crossing files also reveal the crossing has been the site of two previous collisions between trains and motor vehicles.
As mentioned, the crossing is not equipped with any active warning devices, such as lights and gates. The addition of lights and gates would almost surely have prevented this collision and the two before it. Both Union Pacific 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%.