Railroad News

Union Pacific Track Inspector Dies, Motorist Injured At Dangerous, Unguarded Kansas Crossing

(Abilene, Kansas — August 28, 2011)

A 59-year-old track inspector for Union Pacific Railroad was killed Sunday afternoon about 4:00 P.M. when his Hi-Rail vehicle, a Chevrolet pickup truck, and a 52-year-old female motorist collided at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of UP Railroad tracks and Jeep Road two miles east of Abilene, KS.

Elmer Hulse of Wakarusa, KS was westbound on UPRR tracks in his truck, which is a highway vehicle equipped with flanged railroad wheels to enable it to operate on railroad tracks, when a southbound 1995 Ford sedan driven by Jean Aker of Abilene, KS struck and rolled the UP truck.

Although the crossing is equipped only with passive railroad crossbuck signs, hi-rail vehicles seldom activate crossing signals even where gates, lights and bells exist. Both drivers were transported to Abilene Hospital, where Hulse was pronounced dead on arrival and Aker was admitted in undisclosed condition