A 34-year-old Coeur d’Alene man was seriously injured Wednesday after a train rammed the side of his pickup truck.
Kevin Mylan is being treated at Kootenai Medical Center for a severe head injury.
The 11-car train was heading west through Rathdrum at about 30 mph while Mylan was driving north on McCartney Street, said police Lt. Alex Carrington.
Witnesses said warning lights were flashing at the railroad crossing, and the train was blowing its horn as it approached at 10 a.m.
But Mylan apparently didn’t see the locomotive coming.
“I think he realized it too late and skidded to a stop, but a portion of his truck was on the tracks,” Carrington said.
Regina Smith heard the collision from across the street at her downtown flower shop.
“I looked up and the truck was spinning,” she said.
Smith called for help and then went to check on Mylan, who was unconscious and bleeding from his head and mouth.
It’s the second time she has seen a vehicle smashed by a train at the crossing.
In March 1995, an 83-year-old man was injured after he failed to stop his car in time.
A train passes through that part of Rathdrum three to four times an hour.
“People get complacent, they forget to look,” said Bob Hansen, a longtime Rathdrum resident, as he watched work crews clean up the mess from Wednesday’s accident.
The crossing used to have flashing red lights and a stop sign. However, the Idaho Transportation Department ordered the stop signs removed last year because they gave motorists “mixed signals,” said Bob Lloyd, Rathdrum public works director.
The McCartney crossing and one nearby on Mill Street are scheduled to receive crossing arms in 1997 or 1998, Lloyd said.
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