|Two vehicles collide with trains; one man seriously injured after collision|
|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
May 11, 2004 -- Sheriff's deputies and state troopers responded to two back-to-back train wrecks on Kansas City Southern railroad tracks located on opposite ends of Hopkins County Monday afternoon. No one was injured in the first train wreck, but a man was rushed to Hopkins County Memorial Hospital for serious leg and possible internal injuries after being extricated from his truck in the other crash.
The first accident involving a truck-tractor and extended cattle trailer occurred about 10 minutes before noon Monday at a drive along the north Interstate 30 service road between the 114 and 115 mile markers. Fortunately, neither the Edwards Farms driver nor his wife, who was also in the diesel cab with him, were injured when the train struck the front end of the diesel.
According to reports, the couple was attempting to cross the tracks, when the bottom of the low-riding trailer dragged on the ground, sticking in the gravel roadway. The Edwards Farms driver attempted to back the unit up to get it unstuck and to get the front of the diesel off the edge of the tracks, but even efforts by another motorist with a horse trailer failed to get the end of the trailer unstuck from the rocky roadway. When it became apparent the tractor trailer rig could be neither driven forward nor backward, the couple exited the vehicle.
The accident is the second along that stretch of tracks near Ridgeway in recent weeks. On April 19, 83-year-old Elmer Long of Sulphur Springs died after his car was struck by a westbound train on County Road 4723 along the north service road.
The second train accident Monday was reported at 1:03 p.m. on FM 269 on the Kansas City Southern tracks in Pickton, near the spot where Price Gassaway Minter, 59, of Pickton was killed crossing the tracks Aug. 16, 2003.
Pickton-Pine Forest, Brinker and county firefighters assisted emergency medical services personnel in stabilizing 33-year-old Jerrell Lee Lykins of Mount Vernon until he could be extricated by firefighters from his smashed Dodge Ram pickup.
Lykins was apparently headed south on FM 269 in Pickton and hit the brakes upon approaching the Kansas City Southern railroad tracks, where the red warning lights were flashing. The truck and westbound train collided, smashing in the front and top of the truck as it spun the vehicle around. The truck came to a stop, facing northwest just shy of the tracks.
Emergency officials said Lykins had a serious leg injury, and had lost a lot of blood, which may have been the result of another injury. Lykins was taken to Hopkins County Memorial Hospital by ambulance, then later transferred to another hospital.