WORTH COUNTY, Iowa – One person has died as a result of a train vs. tractor collision Tuesday morning in Worth County, the Iowa State Patrol said.
The accident happened at Ulmus Ave. and 350th St. northeast of Plymouth. The name or age of the person killed has not been released.
The accident between the tractor and the Canadian Pacific train colliding was reported around 8 a.m. According to Iowa State Patrol, the driver was heading southbound on Ulmus when the train collided with the tractor, with an attached sprayer taking the brunt of the hit, spinning the tractor around.
State Trooper Taylor Miller says the stretch of tracks is under a 40 mph speed limit, and the conductor did notice the tractor, but it may have been too late.
"They said they saw him about the Highway 9 crossing, started to slow down, but applied the brakes at about the quarter mile mark," Miller says.
And with just a sign marking the crossing, people like Sandra Willis of Mason City say that more features should be added along rural train tracks to reduce accidents.
"Lights...flickering off and on...so they can stop. And watch where the trains are coming," Willis says.
Miller does not anticipate any changes in modernizing these low-traffic rural road type of crossings, simply because of high cost, but did say that law enforcement could step up patrols. However, he does have reminders for staying safe around tracks.
"Come to a complete stop. Look both ways and verify there's no train coming. As you can see, there are no warning signs other than stop signs. That's not going to say that there is a train coming," Miller adds.