One dead in van, train crash

MOORLAND – A woman was killed Thursday night when her vehicle was struck by a locomotive at a grade crossing between Moorland and Fort Dodge.

Officials did not release her name Thursday night.

The collision happened at about 8 p.m.

Dr. Dan Cole, the Webster County medical examiner, said the woman was northbound on Hayes Avenue in a Toyota minivan when it was hit by an eastbound locomotive. He said the car was pushed about a quarter of a mile by the locomotive.

The Union Pacific Railroad locomotive was pulling two other locomotives. No freight cars were attached to them. None of the locomotives derailed.

Webster County Road D20, also known as Old Highway 20, was restricted to one lane of traffic near the spot where the locomotives stopped. The railroad tracks run parallel to the road there.

None of the train crew members were injured, according to Mark Davis, a spokesman for the Union Pacific Railroad. He said counseling will be offered to them.

The collision remains under investigation by the Iowa State Patrol.

Firefighters from Fort Dodge and Moorland, paramedics from Trinity Regional Medical Center, and Webster County sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene along with state troopers and Cole.

The crash Thursday was the second grade crossing collision in Webster County this year. One person was injured in a March 11 crash near 220th Street and Samson Avenue west of Duncombe.

The Union Pacific Railroad has conducted several programs in Webster County in an attempt to prevent grade crossing collisions. The railroad has taken local residents on short train rides during which they learn about grade crossing safety. The railroad has also joined forces with law enforcement agencies to catch drivers who violate grade crossing safety laws.