Driver killed in fiery vehicle-train crash south of Moorhead
KURTZ TOWNSHIP, MINN. -- A car collided with a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train Saturday morning and burst into flames, killing the occupant inside. Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist said the car hit the train just before 9 a.m. at a crossing ...
KURTZ TOWNSHIP, MINN. -- A car collided with a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train Saturday morning and burst into flames, killing the occupant inside.
Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist said the car hit the train just before 9 a.m. at a crossing south of Moorhead. The car was dragged about one-third of a mile down the track before it could come to a stop.
“It took a little while to get to the area where the vehicle was,” Bergquist said. A smaller truck eventually reached the car and extinguished the flames, he added.
After the fire was extinguished, the train backed up so emergency crews had better access to the crash.
“It appears that there is one victim in the vehicle,” Bergquist said. The identity of the person in the vehicle was unknown and investigators were still working to identify them Saturday afternoon.
Bergquist said the crossing arms at the stop were down and there appeared to be damage to one of the arms.
He said there were two witnesses to the crash and he’s hoping their accounts will determine how the car ended up in front of the train.
A couple who live in a house near the crossing said they didn’t notice the crash until they heard fire trucks rolling down 60th Avenue South.
“My husband Roy just peeked out the window and saw all this commotion,” Marge Klinger said. “I thought, ‘there must’ve been a car hit by a train and I just hope nobody was killed.’”
Klinger said the road the car was traveling is a busy road that people use to travel to and from Sabin.
This isn’t the first crash at the intersection, according to the couple.
“This has happened before, although that was before they had the cross arms,” Klinger said but added she didn’t know when the arms were installed. “Our neighbors, on their way home from the bar one night and ran into the side of the train and they were both injured pretty bad but they’ve recovered and were able to continue life just like anybody else.”
Other crossings nearby don’t have crossing arms, and Klinger said a lot of people just blow through stop signs at those crossings.
She said doesn’t know what more can be done to prevent people from getting hit by a train.
“People just need to be more vigilant about watching for these things when they’re driving through an area like this.”