Railroad News

Union Pacific Train Kills mother/Grandmother at Dangerous, Unguarded Crossing

(Rogers, Nebraska – August 26, 2012)

A 61-year-old mother of two adult sons and grandmother to three died late Saturday of injuries she received in a collision earlier that afternoon when the 1999 Buick Century she was driving collided with an eastbound Union Pacific freight train at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of Colfax County Road 17 and UPRR tracks a mile and a half west of Rogers, NE.

Kathy Jonas, a long-time resident of Schuyler, NE, was pronounced dead at 6:27 P.M. after first being taken by ambulance to Allegiant Hospital in Schuyler and then being flown to Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, NE.

The CR 17/UPRR crossing, where the victim’s car approached from the north and the train struck her vehicle’s passenger side, has only passive railroad crossbuck signs for “protection” from the average of 57 trains that pass there daily at speeds as high as 70 mph, and has extensive trees that interfere with motorists’ view of the intersection.

The victim was an employee of Schuyler’s Didier Grocery Store for 30 years prior to her tragic death.

Investigating the accident were the Colfax County Sheriff’s Office, Nebraska State Patrol, Schuyler Fire & Rescue and, as might be expected, Union Pacific Police.