Photo Gallery: Semi-truck split after train crash west of Aberdeen

No injuries were reported after a train hit a semi just west of Aberdeen Wednesday morning, splitting one of the semi’s trailers in two and covering the roadway in corn. A portion of 379th Avenue near its intersection with U.S. Highway 12 was closed for more than three hours starting around 9:30 a.m. as the scene was investigated and corn was cleared. Amy McBeth, spokeswoman for BNSF Railway, said the crash was at 9:05 a.m. BNSF was given the all clear and returned the track to service at around 2 p.m., she said. The driver of the semi wasn’t paying attention and said he didn’t notice the train until the impact, said Deputy Brian Koens with the Brown County Sheriff’s Office. The crash caused extensive damage, he said. Both trailers being pulled by the semi were damaged as was the train. But, Koens said, the semi cab was unharmed. The South Dakota Highway Patrol issued two citations to the driver of the semi, Christopher Lefforge, 32, of Aberdeen, Koens said. He said was for failure to yield, the other for a motor carrier safety violation. Both infractions are misdemeanors. No citations were issued to the train engineer, Koens said. McBeth encouraged all pedestrians and drivers to be mindful of train traffic. “Trains can’t stop quickly. These are big, heavy trains. The average train operating at the average speed takes a mile to stop,” she said. A train traveling 55 mph can take a mile or more to stop, McBeth said. Most trains in the part of the country pull more than 100 cars.

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