A 79-year old man lost his life at a railroad crossing in Marshfield, WI. He was transported from the scene of the crash to a local hospital, where he remained unconscious and died shortly after. Medical examiners determined that he had not suffered a stroke or heart attack that would have knocked him unconscious. Seeing that he was transporting beer, police theorized that he may have been drunk and cited him for driving under the influence.
Toxicology reports have since determined that he was not under the influence of alcohol. The investigation is now underway.
It seems to go without saying that the police acted hastily in citing a dead man a ticket for transporting beer. The story repeatedly told by his friends was that he was sent off to pick it up. Investigations into crossing accidents should begin immediately and should investigate the conditions of the driver as well as the railroad tracks and the crossing itself.
While it is good that the man has been vindicated from false charges against him, the tragic fact that he lost his life cannot be undone. The investigation should proceed to examine the quality of the tracks and the general safety of the crossing.