A semi-truck collided with a train car just east of Spencer at an unmarked crossing in the early morning hours Tuesday, claiming the life of 60-year-old Larry Eugene Keith of Maurice.
Keith was pronounced dead at the scene after the 2003 Peterbuilt semi, traveling northbound on M-50, just north of the B-24 intersection, collided with a slow moving train car at approximately 2:30 a.m.
Neither train engineer Craig Dwine, or the switchman, were injured in the collision.
Skid marks at the scene indicated that the truck tried to brake before impacting the fully loaded IC&E train car, part of a 100-car train that was attempting to hook and unhook cars at the intersection. All of the train cars were hooked at the time of the accident, and the train had just started slowly moving eastbound right before impact. The train was projected to be moving 1.5 miles per hour.
The speed of the truck is not known, but the impact by the truck, anticipated to be weighing in the area of 90,000-plus pounds filled with powdered concrete, knocked the 120,000-plus ton rail car off the track and onto its side.
Emergency and clean-up crews remained on scene all day, and plans called for a portion of M-50 near the east beltway to remain one-lane into Wednesday as clean-up efforts at the site continue. A speed reduction to 35 miles per hourwas put in place until the work is done.
Keith's semi was owned by Alliance Concrete of Orange City.
The accident remains under investigation by the Clay County Sheriff's Office with assistance from the Dickens Fire and Rescue, Spencer Fire and Rescue, Iowa State Patrol, Department of Transportation, Clay County Emergency Management, Clay County Road Department, Department of Natural Resources and Spencer Ambulance.