Man killed in train-truck collision

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

UPDATE: The Missouri State Highway Patrol report lists the victim as John Norris, 79, of Marshall. Norris was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:20 a.m. by Saline County Coroner William Harlow, troopers said.

Photo provided by the Marshall Police Department.

A man is dead after a train collided with a truck in downtown Marshall about 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 10.

Sgt. Roger Gibson said there was an accident involving a pickup truck and a train.

"We're still conducting our initial response," Gibson said. "I don't have any details yet."

Two witnesses to the accident said they saw a cloud of dust and a truck being pushed down the tracks by a train just east of Lyon Street on the north side of ConAgra.

"I didn't see where it happened," said Corey Smith Sr., of Marshall. "We ran over to try and help."

James Price, of Marshall, called the accident in to 911.

"Dispatch told me to open the door and check on him," Price said.

Smith said the driver wasn't responsive.

"He was breathing. But he didn't respond," Smith said. "I kept yelling, 'Hey bud. Help's on the way.' Then he went limp."

Both Price and Smith said they were shaken by the accident.

"He must have been in his 60s or 70s," Price said. "The conductor -- engineer guy said the truck didn't speed up. He just drove right in front of the train."

Marshall Police have not yet released the name of the driver.

A train-vehicle collision on December 31, 2005 claimed the lives of Earl and Ruby Zimmerman of rural Marshall.

In June 2009, MPD and Kansas Southern Railroad conducted an exercise called "Officer on a train" in which officers rode a train that approached crossings. The train mounted officers coordinated with officers on the ground to issue tickets to people observed trying to "beat" the train. The 2009 exercise follow an accident at the North Miami Avenue crossing in which a Marshall woman was injured. The program was ended early because of a malfunctioning light system at the crossing.

A similar program was conducted in 2008.

Contact Pat Nolan at

pnolan@marshallnews.com

Related Stories

'Officer on the Train' exercise educates motorists on railroad crossing safety

http://www.marshallnews.com/story/1549992.html

Comments
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  • Why, oh why, doesn't Marshall have arms that come down to block the crossings? Even little old Gilliam has arms!! How many accidents do there have to be until the railroad or the city spends a little money? How much is a life worth?

    -- Posted by Farm Mom on Tue, Aug 10, 2010, at 12:39 PM
  • What a terrible accident. Prayers for their friends and family.

    -- Posted by mrs. opinion on Tue, Aug 10, 2010, at 1:20 PM
  • OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS GO TO THE FAMILY OF THE DRIVER. REST IN PEACE!

    -- Posted by 1OFTHEGALS on Tue, Aug 10, 2010, at 1:21 PM
  • I agree totally with FARM MOM.........How many vehicles have been hit in the last 5 years? I'll tell you WAY TO MANY...Yes it is our fault for not being totally aware of our surroundings.....but the arms could have saved at least part of those people.

    Bless this family in their time of need

    -- Posted by vlm2 on Tue, Aug 10, 2010, at 1:21 PM
  • My son and I were driving over the tracks on Lyon Street this morning and we saw this. What a horrible tragedy. My heart goes out to this man's family.

    -- Posted by MarshallMommy on Tue, Aug 10, 2010, at 1:57 PM
  • According to the article, vlm2, the number of cars hit in Saline County over the last five years is zero until today.

    -- Posted by inthemiddle on Tue, Aug 10, 2010, at 3:01 PM
  • a few months ago Dave griffith and his brother was hit in Saline County by a train and they were lucky they survived

    -- Posted by Grammie07 on Tue, Aug 10, 2010, at 4:14 PM
  • I have lived here in Marshall for ten years now and I still do not know which tracks are old and which are still running.. I am always very careful when crossing them but arms would be very helpful.. My thoughts are with the family and friends of this man.

    -- Posted by BBB on Tue, Aug 10, 2010, at 4:20 PM
  • "The last railroad crossing accident with a vehicle in Saline County was May 15, 1993, in Marshall Junction, when a Union Pacific Train hit a tractor on a private crossing."

    That's wrong. There have been others. The worst one was Mr. & Mrs. Zimmerman on New Year's Eve 2005.

    http://www.marshallnews.com/story/1133811.html

    -- Posted by Night Sky on Tue, Aug 10, 2010, at 4:32 PM
    Response by Pat Nolan/Staff writer:
    In my search of Saline County rail accidents through the Federal Railroad Administration website -- that did not come up. Thanks for alerting me to it.
  • my hearts go out to the family. my Grandparent's house got hit by a derailed train in hardin,mo about 40 yrs ago. we talk about cross arms,i'm worried about an accident happening on W.Vest and Hwy.65

    -- Posted by star1701 on Tue, Aug 10, 2010, at 5:51 PM
  • I also remember last year a car getting hit on North Miami, so there are more than 3 accidents that have happened in the last several years.

    http://www.marshallnews.com/story/1541003.html

    -- Posted by MyVoiceIsHeard on Tue, Aug 10, 2010, at 5:56 PM
  • I AND MY DAUGHTER -IN-LAW WAS TALKING TO SOME PEOPLE THAT HAS A BUSINESS CLOSE TO WHERE THIS ACCIDENT HAPPENED, AND THE SUBJECT OF PUTTING ARMS UP ON BOYD AND ENGLISH STREET COME UP, THEY SAID THAT WHEN THE TRAIN WAS SWITICHING TRACKS, SOMETIMES IT TAKES 15 MINUTES OR LONGER, IF ARMS WAS USED, IT WOULD CLOSE BOTH TRACKS FOR AT LEAST THAT LONG, THEN PEOPLE WOULD BE UPSET BECAUSE THEY WOULD HAVE TO WAIT, I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT BEFORE BUT IT DOES MAKE SENSE, I FOR NOE HAVE ALWAYS SAID USE ARMS AT THESE CROSSINGS, BUT THAT GAVE ME A NEW THOUGHT ABOUT IT,

    IF THE TRACKS WAS BLOCKED THEN PEOPLE WOULD TRY TO GO AROUND THE ARMS AND WE MIGHT HAVE MORE ACCIDENT THAN WE DO. ITS HARD SOMETIMES TO KNOW WHAT REALLY SHOULD BE DONE,

    MY PRAYERS GO OUT TO THE FAMILY OF THIS VICTIM GOD BLESS YOU

    -- Posted by buttons on Tue, Aug 10, 2010, at 7:18 PM
  • Connie, and Kathy, I cant be home right now due to Steve's work. But if you need anything, Misty has our telephone numbers. I am so sorry.

    -- Posted by rivergirl on Tue, Aug 10, 2010, at 7:28 PM
  • never drive faster then your guardian angel can fly.

    -- Posted by aevans on Tue, Aug 10, 2010, at 9:18 PM
  • Before I go on my rant My prayers are with the family and also with the men that were running the train you dont forget things like this.Ok people of Marshall put your pitchforks down and call off the Lynch Mob.Im a Train engineer I have been one for 5yrs now. First off the town of Marshall is not responsible for putting in the crossing gates, The RailRoad is! Second of all, all the crossing gates do is slow the people down.If I had a Penny for every car I have seen run the gates I would be the most wealthy person in marshall.People get impatient and just go around them.It happens ALL the time.I do know that ALL trains Have a REALLY loud HORN and Flashing lights.Not to mention there are big red flashing lights with loud ringing bells to help warn the drivers.As far as the gates in Gilliam the trains go through that wide spot in the road are going lots faster than they do in Marshall.

    -- Posted by Jeepwrangler on Tue, Aug 10, 2010, at 11:05 PM
  • Has anyone thought that possibly he had a medical issue and couldn't respond? If he had a heart attack or a stroke, he might not have been able to stop the truck. No one but he and the good Lord know.

    -- Posted by slowpoke on Tue, Aug 10, 2010, at 11:25 PM
  • A terrible tragedy involving a very well liked person and all round nice guy. My sympathies to the family.

    Personally, I think there are several problems with that crossing and as mentioned earlier, I'm not sure your basic crossing arms are the answer. Speaking strictly of myself, I've been complacent at times crossing there from the west, even though the lights might be flashing. First I assume that it's probably just a work train from the elevator and second, it seems a much higher percentage of trains through town are moving west to east, so as I travel along Boyd St, I would likely have been aware of an actual train moving on the track. I've probably been guilty of not even looking to the east as I crossed. Now don't get me wrong...I'm certainly not saying something like this caused the accident because no one will ever know that. I'm just saying I could see it happening. Arms that came down every time a work train was using the track wouldn't be very popular. Maybe if there was a way to have the arms come down if a train is moving at a certain speed, but not for the work train.

    Again...sincere condolences to the family. The community shares your grief.

    -- Posted by outsider on Wed, Aug 11, 2010, at 5:54 AM
  • WHAT DOES IT MATTER HOW MANY IN 5 YEARS OR 5 MIN. A MAN LOST HIS LIFE, NO FAULT OF TRAIN OR MAN, I THINK HEALTH ISSUE. THIS FINE MAN WOULD NOT HAVE DRIVEN HIS VEHICLE IN FRONT OF A TRAIN.

    -- Posted by yank on Wed, Aug 11, 2010, at 6:58 AM
  • My father was hit and killed in 93 by a train at a crossing with no bars AND not lights, only basic crossing signs. The crossing had factories on each side that gave low visability either direction not to mention the noise level going on at each factories. After his accident I filed a lawsuit with the railroad which was a waste of time. They claimed there was nothing wrong at that crossing but ironically enough that exact crossing was CLOSED 4 months after his death. So, basically..never the railroads fault always the victims.

    -- Posted by freckles on Wed, Aug 11, 2010, at 7:48 AM