Elderly man injured in train vs. minivan crash

By KBJR News 1

July 18, 2014 Updated Jul 18, 2014 at 5:53 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - A scenic Friday train ride was stopped in its tracks after colliding with a minivan.

A North Shore Scenic Railroad Train hit this minivan just after 3:30 p.m. Friday at East Superior Street and North 45th Avenue East.

Railroad officials say the 87-year-old driver didn't obey the blinking lights and tried crossing the tracks.

The force of the collision caused the minivan to take out a signal.

The driver was transported to St. Luke's hospital for non-life threatening injuries. He was issued a citation.

"This man is very lucky," said Ken Beuhler, the general manager of the North Shore Scenic Railroad. "It's a very unfortunate incident. Again, follow these traffic signals at all intersections and crossings. The train will always win."

The train, which was traveling at a low rate of speed, didn't suffer any damage.

On Thursday night, Duluth Police worked a traffic specific detail in that area to raise awareness of safety at railroad intersections as well as bike patrol officers that were there to make contacts with bicyclists on the Lakewalk to stop at the crossing avenues.

Here are the numbers from that two hour effort:

• 26 traffic stops of cars that failed to stop for the stop signs on the avenues at RR Crossings
• 18 subject stops on bicyclists that failed to stop for the Lakewalk stop signs
• Well over 125 positive contacts with individuals that were using the Lakewalk and stopping for the signs
• Lakeside/Lester Park Citizen Patrol handed out approximately 30 free ice cream cone coupons to kids wearing helmets on bikes.
• 1 citation (for 2 charges) who’s driving conduct was unacceptable.

Written by Kevin Jacobsen
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