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Accident investigation complete | Preston Citizen

Accident investigation complete

February 27, 2013
By

By ROBERT S. MERRILL

Assistant editor

 

Investigation into a fatal truck-train accident, which caused a derailment of 16 cars of a Union Pacific freight train near Dayton on Jan. 9, has been completed.

Idaho State Police Sgt. Mike Winans, the investigating officer, said fog absolutely was a factor in the accident.

An accident reconstructionist and other investigators have viewed video footage from the train’s locomotive and it revealed extremely foggy conditions on the west side of the tracks that morning, but things were not so bad on the east side.

Union Pacific crews repair the rails after an accident on the morning of Jan. 9 near Dayton.

Union Pacific crews repair the rails after an accident on the morning of Jan. 9 near Dayton.

“We secured a search warrant and obtained an engine control module from a Franklin County dump truck involved in the accident.

“It did not reveal to us anything we didn’t already know,” he told The Citizen this week.

“The bottom line is the driver of the truck drove into the side of the train and was going too fast for existing conditions at the time.”

Winans said it appears the train crew’s actions did not have anything to do with the crash.

He said the train’s engineer said it was traveling about 45 miles per hour at the time of the accident. The track is rated at 60 mph with a 50 mph speed limit.

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