Tim Leeds Havre Daily News email@example.com
A Havre man Monday survived a crash in which a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway freight train struck his truck at a railroad crossing west of Havre. The Montana Highway Patrol reports that at 12:28 p.m. Jason Keeler, 25, was ejected from the 2004 Ford F-350, which belongs to C & C Excavation, when it was struck by the train at a crossing 10 miles west of Havre. Keeler sustained a broken collar bone and cuts and bruises and was taken to Northern Montana Hospital for treatment, the Highway Patrol report said. The hospital this morning reported Keeler was in stable condition. Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the crash delayed the eastbound Empire Builder for about 47 minutes until the tracks were cleared. Gus Melonas, spokesman for BNSF, said the tracks were re-opened about 2:30 p.m. The cause of the crash is being investigated, he added. Melonas said the BNSF train was en route from Cicero, Ill., to Portland, Ore., when the crash occurred. Neither of the BNSF employees on the train were injured, and the train was not damaged, he said. “It was at an industry crossing at the east end of Burnam,” he said, referring to the location. Melonas said the train was travelling at 45 mph to 50 mph, and sounded its whistle as it approached the crossing. According to the crash report, Wheeler said he was traveling southbound on Road 403 North while approaching the crossing, and filed to notice the westbound freight train. The truck was struck on the front of the driver’s side by the right front corner of the first engine on the train. The truck rolled onto its passenger side and Keeler was ejected from the driver’s side door, the report said. Keeler was cited for disobeying signals indicating the approach of a train and for not wearing a seat belt, the report said.