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Centralia man dead after train hits car near on passive railroad crossing near Sturgeon

STURGEON, Mo. (KMIZ) 

A Centralia man died Sunday when a Norfolk Southern train struck his vehicle late Saturday night, officials say. 

The Boone County Sheriff's Office says Ceno McGee, 67, was driving his Ford F-150 at North Jennings and East Keil Road east of Sturgeon at about 11 p.m. when the crash happened.

The railroad crossing where the crash happened is considered a passive graded crossing, where there is a stop sign and a “crossbucks” sign indicating a railroad crossing, but no bells, whistles, lights or gates as an active crossing would have.

The sheriff's office says McGee was driving on Keil Road parallel to the tracks then turned southbound on Jennings, where his truck crossed the tracks and was hit.

In July, an Amtrak train with 270 passengers and 12 crew members collided with a dump truck at a passive railroad crossing in Mendon and four people died as a result. The passive crossing gained criticism from the NTSB.

Sgt. Nikki Antimi with the Boone County Sheriff's Department said investigators believe the man was traveling east in his vehicle attempting to cross the tracks when he was hit by the train that was also traveling east.

McGree was thrown from the truck, according to officials.

The Boone County Sheriff's Department says the engineer and conductor aboard the Norfolk Southern train were not injured.

Gale Blomenkamp with the Boone County Fire Protection District says, the train was nearly a mile long and was carrying intermodal train cars and four-vehicle carrier train cars. 

Antimi says there will be a process to learn more about what happened. "There is a railroad police that will do an investigation, as well as the Boone County Sheriff's traffic enforcement unit, is also doing an investigation," said Antimi.

North Jennings was closed off while the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Boone County Sheriff's Department investigated. It has since reopened.

ABC 17 News crews on scene later saw the train continue its route for Sunday. However, deputies say the train company used a different engineer and conductor to finish the route.

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Erika McGuire

Joushua Blount

Joushua Blount hails from Cleveland, Ohio and has a bachelor’s degree in media communications from the University of Toledo. He also has a master’s degree from the University Of Alabama. Roll Tide!

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Leila Mitchell

Leila is a Penn State graduate who started with KMIZ in March 2021. She studied journalism and criminal justice in college.

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