Amtrak train collides with truck in central Minnesota, kills trucker


An Amtrak train struck a semitrailer truck that didn't stop at a railroad crossing in Todd County, killing the driver and injuring several passengers on the train.

The Star Tribune reported that the collision occurred Friday afternoon at the rail crossing at 317th Avenue in Fawn Lake Township when he failed to stop at a railroad crossing at Red Rock Road.

The Bedmidji Pioneer reported that the driver of the 2011 Kenworth semi tractor-trailer semi was Donald R. Hedlund Sr., 57, of Bemidji, driving for Minnesota Limited in Big Lake. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Two passengers on the train were taken by Staples Ambulance to the Lakewood Hospital near Staples for treatment of their injuries, which were not life threatening. The Todd County Sheriff’s Office said several others suffered minor injuries but were not transported. The Associated Press reported that the train was the Empire Builder, en route from Seattle to Chicago and carrying 181 passengers. The train fell behind schedule by about seven hours while it was out of service for repairs.

The St. Cloud Times reported that road conditions were not a leading factor in the crash.

The Staples Fire and Rescue, Wadena County Sheriff’s Office and Minnesota State Patrol assisted at the scene.

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