Iowa Interstate Railroad Sues Truck Driver Involved in Train Collision

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By Aaron Hepker

CORALVILLE, Iowa - Iowa Interstate Railroad is suing the owner of a semi-truck, its driver and the company he worked for following a collision between the truck and a train at a railroad crossing in Coralville in April.

Tommy S. Wieda, while employed by Peterson Contractors Inc., was driving a semi-truck owned by Rienbeck Motors Company, Inc. on April 16 near the intersection of Highway 6 and Deer Creek Road in Coralville, according to the lawsuit filed in Johnson County District Court.

Iowa Interstate Railroad, which owns the tracks and the right of way, accuses Wieda in the lawsuit of causing the collision by failing to obey traffic signs, failing to look for an oncoming train, failing to stop, ignoring warning systems, and acting negligently.

Wieda was not ticketed in connection with the collision, according to online court records.

The crash has cost Iowa Interstate Railroad $82,323 to date “in property damage for the destruction and replacement of the crossing signals for the railroad crossing at issue," according to the lawsuit.

The railroad company also is arguing that the truck owner and employer should be held accountable for the driver’s “negligent conduct.”

“At the time of the incident, Wieda was an employee of the defendant, (Peterson Contractors Inc.), and conducting work related activities,” according to the lawsuit.

Following the crash, The Gazette reported that the semi-truck was hauling dirt. The semi was split in two, according to the initial report, with the cab on the south side of the tracks and the trailer on the north side.

The truck driver was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

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