Weekend snow brings train-vs-SUV collision

From Local Sources

MENTOR — The Dubois County Sheriff’s Department responded to 11 weather-related incidents related to a weekend snow event, including a vehicle-versus-train collision west of Mentor.

None of those accidents, including a slideoff that left an unoccupied SUV on the tracks at the Mentor Road South crossing, involved injury, according to the sheriff’s department. Most were slideoffs after the arrival of about 3 inches of snow that weekend rain all but washed away.

Norfolk Southern reported a train-versus-vehicle collision at 9:11 a.m. Saturday, according to the sheriff’s department. The unoccupied GMC Envoy that had been involved in an earlier slideoff was stuck on the tracks at Mentor Road South, a half mile south of State Road 64.

An unloaded, westbound Norfolk Southern train struck the SUV, which was pushed about 200 yards until the train was able to stop.

Deputies have yet to determine who was driving the SUV. An individual at the scene reported that a male driver had fled on foot, according to the sheriff’s department.

The accident that totaled the SUV remains under investigation.

The railroad was closed down for about 3 1/2 hours while the scene was cleared.

The sheriff’s department was assisted by a Berg’s Garage wrecker and Cooper Rail Service.

Of the accidents related to the winter system, four were property damage mishaps with $1,000 or more in damage and the remainder were slideoffs.

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