Deadly train vs. tractor accident - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Deadly train vs. tractor accident

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UPDATED JUNE 15, 2019 10:32 p.m.

MONROE COUNTY (WSIL) -- Cleanup was underway Saturday in Monroe County after Friday's crash and train derailment.

Workers with Union Pacific were on scene working to get the cars back on the track. This comes after a train and tractor collided Friday, killing a Waterloo man near Fults Road and Bluff Road near Maeystown. 

Raquel Espinoza, a spokesperson with Union Pacific, confirms 10 train cars were derailed in the crash, but it was impossible for the conductor to stop before hitting the tractor. 

"Trains can not stop quickly," said Espinoza.

Illinois State Police identified the driver of the tractor as 23-year- old Jonah Mathews.  Fire Chief Lynden Prange, of the Maeystown Rural Fire Protection District, was one of the first people on scene. 

"We had a large ball of fire here coming from the tractor. It was burning two of the empty box cars. We attacked it, got the fire out, and set up a safety perimeter," says Prange.

Prange says 19 of his firefighters were on scene, but because of the seriousness of the crash he requested back up. 

"We had all six fire departments, neighboring fire departments, St Clair County, and Belleville right there," says Prange.


Prange says he called St Clair County and Belleville hazmat teams for help after learning some of the cars had hazardous material inside. 

"We are not specialized in hazmat, so basically our mission is to evacuate the people, isolate the area." says Prange. 


He says thankfully the hazardous material was located in the back of the train and it didn't spill or catch fire. Prange is reminding everyone to use caution when approaching the tracks. 


"So now its even more important to be cognitive when you cross that track," says Prange. 

UPDATED: JUNE 14, 2019 10:55 p.m.

MONROE COUNTY (WSIL) -- The Monroe County Coroner’s Office confirms 23-year-old Jonah Matthews of Waterloo was hit and killed by a train while riding a John Deere tractor.

That train was hauling hazmat tankers, but they were not impacted by the crash.

Illinois State Police put a large perimeter in place around the crash scene and closed several roads as a precaution.

Illinois Emergency Management Agency, ISP, and the Monroe County Sheriff were the first to respond to the scene.

ISP confirms a Union Pacific train was involved in the crash. News 3 has reached out to the company for comment but have not heard back. 

No other details about the crash have been released.  

ORIGINAL STORY

MONROE COUNTY (WSIL) -- A train collided with a tractor in southern Monroe County Friday night. FOX 2 St. Louis reports the accident claimed one life.

The accident is near Fults Road and Bluff Road near Maeystown. A St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency Facebook post said it's hazmat team was responding to a train derailment.

Several other emergency departments are responding, including those from Prairie Du Rocher.

This is a breaking news story. We will post updates as soon as we get them.

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