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Wendy Reuer, Published May 14 2013

Driver killed when train, pickup collide west of West Fargo

WEST FARGO – A collision between a pickup and a train west of here Tuesday afternoon killed the driver of the pickup.

Cass County Sheriff’s Office deputies were still working to identify the man Tuesday evening.

Detective Joel Stading of the Cass County Sheriff’s Office said rescue crews pronounced the driver of the truck dead at the scene.

The driver of the older-model Ford pickup was heading south when the BNSF train hit the driver’s side of the vehicle, pushing it about 900 to 1,000 feet west of the gravel intersection.

The collision happened at about 1:45 p.m. in the 600 block of 38th Street Southwest, according to dispatchers at the Red River Regional Dispatch Center.

Officials said the train was believed to be going about 40 mph in the 55 mph train zone.

The man’s body was not removed from the truck until after 4 p.m.

“As of right now everything is still under investigation. We don’t even know the identity of the person yet; it’s all still in the process,” Stading said Tuesday afternoon. “We have to make sure everything is safe up there before we try to pull the vehicle from the train.”

Authorities will investigate whether the crossing arms were operating correctly, but Stading said it appears they were.

Stading said it was unclear if the pickup was parked on the tracks or attempting to cross at the time of the accident.

The intersection is about a half-mile north of Interstate 94, about four miles west of West Fargo.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530