(Spencer, Wisconsin – December 12, 2017)
A driver and his passenger were both being treated for serious in a Clark County, WI hospital following a Tuesday collision between their pickup truck and a Canadian National freight train. The collision took place at the dangerous and unguarded road/rail intersection of Century Road and CN railroad tracks near Spencer, WI just prior to 9:00 P.M., CST.
The operator of an eastbound pickup truck, Austin Krueger, 18, and his passenger, Courtney Wallace, 19, both of whom were wearing seat belts, were taken to Marshfield Medical Center with moderate to severe injuries. Their vehicle hit the last two cars of the CN train that was already in the unguarded intersection which could not signal the presence of the train. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was equipped with active warning devices that alerted motorists to the trains presence over the crossing, this collision would not have occurred.
The crossing, according to statistics kept by the Federal Railroad Administration, is used daily by an average of 20 CN freight trains which can cross at speeds as high as 60 mph. The crossing was the site of a fatal accident on June 18, 2013, and has now recorded its fifth collision and second and third non-fatal injuries.
“It’s a dangerous intersection,” charged resident Scott Johnson to WAOW-TV, NewsLine Nine Reporter Neena Pacholke. “We’ve lived here about 31 years, and there’s been many close calls, but in the last five years there’s been two deaths.”
And as Johnson, speaking on behalf of many Century Road residents who want to see lights and gates added to the obviously dangerous intersection, told WAOW “Times are changing, and I think it’s time to look at doing something out here.”
CN railroad officials told Reporter Pacholke that “It’s up to drivers to be more aware.”