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Louis Hoglund, Published May 29 2009

Perham, Minn., man killed in train-truck collision this morning

PERHAM, Minn. - A 67-year-old Perham-area man is dead after the pickup he was driving collided with a train about 6 a.m. today. The identity of the man has not been released, pending notification of relatives. However, authorities confirmed that he was from the Perham area.

Wreckage from the pick-up truck box was scattered at the point of collision - about two miles east of downtown Perham. The front-end and cab of the truck was pushed nearly three-quarters of a mile, before the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe locomotive came to a stop.

Extraction tools were brought to the scene to cut the truck apart, as the impact of the collision had wedged the truck frame around the train engine.

Perham police officers, volunteer firefighters, Otter Tail County deputies and East Otter Tail emergency medical staff were at the scene.

A call was immediately made to halt east and west train traffic, said Jim Rieber, Perham Emergency Medical Services director.

The accident occurred at a train crossing which does not have a signal, which leads to one residence on the north side of the tracks. According to an officer at the scene, the victim was crossing the tracks to pick up a fellow employee. The Chevy pick-up the victim was driving belonged to a painting contractor based in East Otter Tail Count.

The Perham (Minn.) Enterprise-Bulletin and The Forum are both owned by Forum Communications Co.