Driver injured when vehicle strikes train near LarimoreA man was injured early Thursday morning when his 2008 Chevy Cobalt collided with an Amtrak passenger train about 4 miles west of town.
By: By Kevin Bonham and Chris Bieri , Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
LARIMORE, N.D. — A man was injured early Thursday morning when his 2008 Chevy Cobalt collided with an Amtrak passenger train about 4 miles west of town.
Justin Larsen, 22, Niagara, N.D., was taken to Altru Hospital with head and neck injuries following the accident. An Altru spokeswoman said Larsen was treated and released.
The N.D. Highway Patrol said he was alone in the car.
None of the passengers or crew on the Empire Builder Train 7 were injured, said Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari.
Around 6:30 a.m., the Chevy was northbound on County Road 20, approaching the railroad tracks, according to the Highway Patrol. The westbound train was crossing the road at the same time.
Larsen attempted to stop his car, swerving to the left and striking the train on the fourth railcar back from the engines.
A grove of trees on the east side of the road may have obscured the driver’s vision. The railroad crossing was also not marked with flashing lights, but rather railroad crossing and yield signs.
The train’s two engines and a baggage car became detached in the collision and continued westward, stopping a quarter to a half mile away, according to Trooper Steve Nicola.
The wayward engines and car eventually backed up and were reattached to the train’s remaining 10 cars. Some Amtrak passengers got off the train and milled about while officials investigated the scene.
The car, struck on its passenger side, traveled about 50 yards and stopped in a ditch on the south side of the tracks.
BNSF spokeswoman Amy McBeth said federal law requires train horns to be sounded at all public crossings, except those few that qualify as “quiet zones.” The crossing near Larimore was not a quiet zone.
The Herald tried but could not reach the investigating patrol officer to find out if the train sounded its horn during the crossing.
The Empire Builder remained at the crash scene for about three hours, resuming its trip to the West Coast at about 9:40 a.m.
The Highway Patrol is continuing to investigate the accident, and charges are pending.
Kevin Bonham and Chris
Bieri are reporters at the
Grand Forks Herald, which
is owned by Forum