One injured in truck-train collision

Published 9:56 am Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A panel truck enroute from the Twin Cities to Home Depot to deliver refrigerators was hit by a Union Pacific train at 8:48 a.m.Tuesday at a railroad crossing west of Interstate 35 in northern Freeborn County. As a result of the collision, a passenger in the truck was injured and taken to the Albert Lea Medical Center.

Dorothy Ann Lee, 24, of Burnsville, was treated and released.

Freeborn County Sheriff Mark Harig said the truck, which had a man and a woman in it, was driving east on County Road 35 and then south on 775th Avenue, west of Geneva.

Email newsletter signup

Harig said the incident happened after the man who was driving the truck stopped to look at his GPS system and was trying to get that straight. When he was ready to go and cross the tracks, he didn’t see a train. However, when he drove over the tracks, he saw a train so he tried to gun it over the crossing.

He got about two-thirds of the way across the tracks when the train hit the back end of the truck and spun it around, he said.

The Union Pacific train was a little more than a mile long and was actually driving at a slow speed, Harig said. It was heading southbound and was able to be stopped in 750 feet — which is actually a much shorter distance than it normally takes to stop a train.

The Freeborn County Sheriff’s Department lists the driver as Matthew David Feemster, 41, also of Burnsville.

Albert Lea Medical Center emergency crew, Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota State Patrol and Clarks Grove emergency responders were at the scene.