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BREAKING NEWS

Truck collides with train

By Staff | Sep 15, 2008

Authorities are continuing their investigation of a late afternoon train-vehicle accident Sept. 5 in Winnebago.

Police Chief Bob Toland says a dump truck driven by Bruce Osborn, 47, of Mayer, was northbound on Fourth Street Southeast when it collided with two connected DM&E locomotive engines around 5:15 p.m.

Bret Osborn of Ron’s Trenching in Winnebago says his brother was hauling dirt at the time of the accident.

“He looked both ways and never saw anything. His vision was blocked by their trees up to the curb,” says Osborn. “Evidently the railroad doesn’t have to trim their trees.”

Osborn believes this is the third or fourth train-vehicle accident at that intersection in the last five years,

The State Patrol and Minnesota Department of Transportation are aiding Winnebago police with the investigation.

Osborn says the truck was totaled.

Toland says no one was injured, but the conductor of the train was transported by Winnebago Ambulance to United Hospital in Blue Earth as a precaution. He was treated and released, says the police chief.

In the past, MnDOT has been in contact with Winnebago officials about “safety issues” involving the railroad crossings atThird and Fourth streets southeast.

Faribault County Engineer John McDonald says he’s worked with state and federal officials and discussed what improvements can be done.

“I’ll have to get a hold of MnDOT and see what recommendations they might have or what they want to do in the interim,” says McDonald.

Mark Scheidel of the MnDOT office in Mankato says the earliest the two intersections could be placed on a list of recommended railroad safety projects would be 2013.

“Maybe this crash will make a difference and move the Winnebago project up the list,” Scheidel says.

At the beginning of the year, City Administrator Jennifer Feely informed councilmembers in a memo that MnDOT approached the city in 2007 regarding a railroad crossing near the street department shop.

To address safety concerns, Third Street Southeast would be closed and crossing arms placed at Fourth Street Southeast, the memo said.

“It’s still on our radar. It will be looked at again this fall when we do our rankings for projects to do,” says Scheidel.