(Necedah, Wisconsin – June 9, 2013)
An unwanted surprise befell two men in a car traveling on Addition Street/Precision Parkway in Necedah, WI Sunday afternoon at about 5:08 P.M. when their car collided with a Union Pacific freight train at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of the two means of transportation.
Local resident Ivan Ledvina, 29, was driving a visitor from Florida, Donald Bruegenhemke, through the industrial, commercial area when the train appeared, heavily damaging the vehicle. The local resident was transported by ambulance to Hess Memorial Hospital for treatment, while his more seriously injured Florida passenger was flown by helicopter to a Madison, WI hospital.
The city street, which is known as Addition Street north of the crossing and Precision Parkway south of the intersection, was the scene of the second serious train-related accident in the Badger State in 24 hours, as two brothers were seriously injured in a collision between the pickup truck they were in and a Canadian National freight train Saturday in Wood County.
This incident happened at a dangerous, unguarded crossing. It is virtually certain that lights and gates would have prevented this incident. Both Union Pacific and Operation Lifesaver know 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 can gates offer the ability to drastically reduce the number of vehicle/train accidents by as much as 96%. Yet, crossings like the one that was the site of Sunday’s accident continue to abound as railroads claim “preemption” from responsibility to protect the driving public from their trains.
The Juneau County, WI Sheriff’s Dept. investigated Sunday’s crash.