1 airlifted after car and train collide north of Gordonsville

Published 11:32 am Tuesday, February 25, 2020

GORDONSVILLE — One person was airlifted by Mayo One helicopter to a Rochester hospital Tuesday morning after a train and pickup collided north of Gordonsville.

Gary Walstrom, who was listed as the driver of the Dodge Ram pickup, was taken to St. Marys Hospital. His was in fair condition as of Tuesday afternoon.

The collision took place at the Union Pacific Railroad crossing at 120th Street, west of U.S. Highway 65.

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According to a press release, the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from a Union Pacific train engineer at 9:54 a.m., who reported that his train had collided with a pickup at the crossing.

Initial investigation determined the pickup was eastbound on 120th Street. The intersection is controlled with a yield sign for east and west vehicle traffic.

The train engineer told deputies the train was northbound at about 35 to 40 mph when approaching 120th Street. He said he sounded the whistle of the train and saw the pickup slow down to the point where he thought the pickup was going to stop; however, the pickup continued into the crossing.

The train collided with the passenger compartment of the passenger side of the pickup, and the truck was pushed about 60 to 75 feet before the train came to a stop. The pickup came to a rest in the ditch on the west side of the tracks.

Walstrom, who was the sole occupant in the pickup, was removed with extrication and airlifted by helicopter to St. Marys Hospital in Rochester.

Traffic was stopped temporarily on Highway 65 to allow the helicopter to land on the road.

The Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office, Glenville Fire Department, Minnesota State Patrol and Mayo Clinic Ambulance also responded at the scene.