A Jasper County employee escaped serious injury when his road maintainer was hit by an Interstate Railroad train Monday in Kellogg. “Looks like the impact was the front long-nosed portion of the grader…right at the front axle and a little bit behind that. There was some damage to the front of the train engine. The train was hauling mostly flat cars with those portable storage containers on it,” Jasper County Sheriff
John Halferty says.
The Sheriff says the grader was hit around 4:30 as 55-year-old Rick Rawlins of Kellogg start to cross the tracks. Employees of the nearby Heartland Coop joined the train crew in helping Rawlins until emergency medical personnel arrive. Rawlins was treated at the local hospital and later released. Halferty says the impact flipped and heavily damage the maintainer. He says the Heartland Coop employees saw the maintainer flip over at least two times.
Sheriff Halferty says it’s not known how fast the westbound train was traveling. “We’re still working with the train officials, they always send investigators our and we’re partnering with them. So, it’s going to take a little time to get all the details,” Halferty says.
He says the main railroad is open, but there was some damage to a side track. The Jasper County Human Resources Director says Rawlins has been employed with the county since 1988.
(Reporting by Randy Van, KCOB, Newton)