Blue Earth Man Injured After Collision with On-Track Railroad Equipment


Multiple news outlets are reporting that one person was injured after a collision between his SUV and a piece of on-track railroad maintenance equipment.


Justin Elzenga, 24, of rural Blue Earth, Minnesota was driving his SUV on 400th Avenue when he collided with a piece of on-track railroad maintenance equipment. Mr. Elzenga was airlifted to Rochester to treat his injuries.


It appears the only eye-witnesses to the crash were the railroad employees on the maintenance machine. From my experience handling serious injury cases involving railroad crossing collisions, caution must be exercised in putting too much weight into initial reports. For example, in another similar case I handled, the on-track equipment had a duty to yield to all motorists at railroad crossings. From the initial accounts in that case it appeared the motorist was at fault for pulling on the tracks in front of the on-track equipment, but as we dug into the railroad's rules, it was discovered the right of way rule was violated by the railroad employees and not the motorist.


Author:  Jed Chronic