(Holland, Wisconsin – August 30, 2017)
An as-yet unidentified 24-year-old local man was seriously injured just before midnight Wednesday when his vehicle collided with a Union Pacific freight train at the dangerous and unguarded crossing of Hoftiezer Road and UPRR tracks near the Town of Holland in Sheboygan County, WI.
Sheriff’s officers did not give the man’s name prior to notification of relatives, but said he was airlifted to the Theda Clark Medical Center where he was admitted for treatment of what were termed as “serious injuries.”
The victim was still inside his vehicle when first responders arrived at the crossing. The crossing is not equipped with any active warning devices, such as lights and gates. According to FRA records submitted by the railroad, a pair of UPRR trains that traverse the intersection daily at a maximum allowable speed of 25 mph. It is virtually certain that if this crossing was protected by active warning devices, this collision and the eight before it would not have occurred. Both Union Pacific and Operation Lifesaver know that lights and gates are the most effective type of protection at railroad crossings. Studies that have been conducted over fifty years ago confirm that lights and gates offer the ability to drastically reduce the number of vehicle/train accidents by as much as 96%.