Highway could be closed for days after Monroe County train crash
MONROE COUNTY, Mo. (KMIZ)
A state highway that was closed after a deadly crash involving a semi-truck and train Sunday in Monroe County will be closed until midweek, the local sheriff said Monday.
The Monroe County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post Monday that the highway will likely be closed until Wednesday. People have already been moving signs about the road closure, the post says.
The Missouri Department of Transportation said Sunday that it doesn't know how long Highway 24 near Holliday will be closed but drivers should use alternate routes and check the MoDOT traveler map for updates.
An ABC 17 News reporter saw several semi-trucks coming into the area bringing in materials along with crews using several pieces of construction equipment.
Russ Ransdell lives in the area of where the crash happened, he said it's sad news for a small town because things like this don't normally happen near Madison.
"Pretty devastating for a small community because its only one road you gotta go a long way around and a lot of farming is going on right now." Ransdell said.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol crash report, 65-year-old Russell Minnis of Highbee, Missouri was traveling on Highway 24 on Sunday afternoon when he drove through the railroad crossing intersection just outside of Madison. Minnis crashed his semi-truck into the side of the train, derailing at least two engines and more than a dozen train cars.
TRAFFIC ALERT: U.S Route 24, approximately 2 miles east of Madison in Monroe County, is closed due to a train derailment. Duration is unknown. Please use alternate routes. For updates please refer to the Traveler Information Map at https://t.co/zwVmcPhXwr pic.twitter.com/WmLU36E7Hn— MoDOT NE District (@MoDOT_Northeast) May 21, 2023
The train's operator was not injured in the crash, according to troopers. However, Minnis was pronounced dead at the scene around 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Troopers say the crossing had working flashing lights, bells, and arms when the crash took place.
Ransdell said drivers need to pay attention to railroad crossing signals.
"Just because you live in a small community like this those things are still there for a reason, so I could understand people think there is never a train coming through here but they do come through here." Ransdell said.
The Federal Railroad Administration conducted a preliminary investigation to ensure the crossing signals were working. The National Transportation Safety Board will not be investigating.