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Vehicle hit by railroad equipment

By Staff | Sep 4, 2016

Blue Earth Fire Department personnel work to secure the accident scene where a Ford Expedition was struck by a piece of railroad repair equipment.

A 24-year-old Blue Earth man was injured in an early morning accident last Wednesday.

According to a report from the Faribault County Sheriff’s Office, Justin Elzenga, of rural Blue Earth, was driving a 2004 Ford Expedition northbound on 400th Avenue, near the intersection with 90th Street.

Elzenga failed to stop at the stop sign at the railroad crossing and was struck by a maintenance of way (railroad maintenance) piece of equipment that was moving northwest on the railroad tracks.

Witnesses on the railroad maintenance equipment advised officers that the Expedition was also traveling at a high rate of speed.

The call came in just before 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

A medical helicopter from Rochester lands on a gravel road near the scene of the accident, as the UHD ambulance from Blue Earth transports the victim from the scene to the waiting helicopter last Wednesday morning.

Blue Earth Fire Department volunteers had to work for many minutes to get Elzenga out of the vehicle. A medical helicopter landed on the gravel road near the site of the accident, and he was airlifted to Rochester with serious injuries.

None of the railroad employees on the equipment involved in the accident sustained any injuries from the crash.

At the scene was the Faribault County Sheriff’s Office, Blue Earth Police Department, Blue Earth Fire Department, United Hospital District Ambulance Service, Faribault County Highway Department, as well as personnel from the railroad repair crews.

No further information was available as to Elzenga’s condition was available at the time this issue of the Faribault County Register went to press.