(Oconomowoc, Wisconsin – March 22, 2019)
Several breakfast diners at a trackside restaurant in Oconomowoc, WI were injured after being showered with debris from a semi/train collision about 8:00 AM CDT Friday morning. All were taken to a local hospital for treatment, as was the unidentified 18-wheeler driver.
The collision involved a Canadian Pacific freight train that had among its cargo tank cars of denatured alcohol. Fortunately, the train did not derail and the tank cars were not ruptured as a result of the incident.
The truck driver’s tractor-trailer became hung up on curbing installed to prevent motorists from running around crossing gates. The driver tried to make a tight turn from South Main Street onto Second Street near the Amtrak depot when the hang-up occurred. The gates and lights were not activated when the semi became impaled as the
Witnesses, who included patrons at Maxim’s Restaurant at the Station, said the trucker attempted to free his vehicle from its predicament by backing up, but was unsuccessful.
Sue Thelan, manager of the restaurant, described the scene as a “war zone,” adding that “There’s debris everywhere.”
The train, one of a daily average of 21 CP and Amtrak trains that cross Main Street at speeds as high as 79 mph, was using a Union Pacific locomotive as power in a pool agreement between the two rail companies.
The collision was the fourth to occur at the South Main Street crossing. Three previous accidents included a fatality and non-fatal injury accidents which hurt a total of 5 people.