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Dave Olson, Published February 02 2014

Victims of Sabin train-vehicle crash lived just yards from intersection

SABIN, Minn. – A Sabin man was killed and his wife was airlifted to a Fargo hospital Sunday afternoon following a train/vehicle crash just south of Sabin.

According to Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist:

Gloria Briden, 83, was the driver of a vehicle driving on Clay County Road 67 just south of Sabin about 1:40 p.m. Sunday when the vehicle was struck by a train traveling on Otter Tail Valley Railroad tracks.

She was taken by air ambulance to Sanford Health in Fargo with serious injuries, Bergquist said.

Briden’s husband, William Briden, 91, a passenger in the vehicle, died at the scene, according to Bergquist, who said the couple’s home is just a few yards from the intersection where the crash occurred and the train collided with their vehicle moments after it left their property.

Bergquist said the train involved consisted of a small number of train engines linked together.

The train crossing at that location is marked by signs but there are no crossing arms at the intersection, said Bergquist, who added is not unusual for the Sheriff’s Department to see intersection crashes involving victims who lived nearby.

He said William Briden’s remains will be sent to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.

For Beth Schwanke, Sunday’s crash was a painful reminder of the death of her husband, David, a Fargo chiropractor who died on Feb. 14, 2004, when the vehicle he was driving was struck by a train at a railroad crossing near Sabin.

Schwanke, who now lives in Sugar Land, Texas, said she wasn’t sure whether Sunday’s crash occurred at the same location where her husband was killed, but she said the two intersections would have to be near each other.

At the time of her husband’s death at the age of 45, Schwanke said her question to the railroad was this: “Why don’t you put up the bars that come down?”

She said hearing about Sunday’s crash sharpened the pain she still bears for the loss of her husband and she said she feels for the Briden family.

“My heart goes out to these people,” Schwanke said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555