Officials Investigate Fatal Train Accident

By Christy Aumer, Reporter

A train remains at a standstill on Highway 1 in Mount Vernon on Friday, September 28, 2012. Officials received a call around 8:37 a.m. to Gillette Lane and the railroad tracks in Lisbon, Friday. (Christy Aumer/The Gazette)


By Kara Kelly

LISBON, Iowa - A Lisbon woman has died following a train accident Friday morning near Lisbon, authorities said.

According to Iowa State Patrol, Wilma J. Morningstar, 76, of Lisbon, was killed when she was driving her SUV southbound on Gillette Lane and crashed into the front of a Union Pacific train traveling westbound around 8:30 a.m. The SUV continued to roll into a ditch following the impact, authorities said. Morningstar was not wearing a seat belt, and was thrown from the SUV. She was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. No one else was injured.

According to officials, the rural intersection has no lights or cross arms that have a yield sign, and trains typically travel through that area at around 50 mph.

The Union Pacific train was traveling westbound from Chicago, IL to Portland, OR. The train has four locomotives, 89 rail cars and the majority of cars are carrying double stacked containers. There are no hazardous materials in the containers, but most likely things like auto parts, electronics, toys and clothes, Union Pacific spokesperson Tom Lange said.
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