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Salem, Vehicle vs Train 8 24 12

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Published on Aug 24, 2012

A St. Paul mother and daughter narrowly escaped injury this evening when their car was struck by a freight train north of Keizer.

Deputies were called to the railroad crossing on Waconda Road NE near East Street at 6:54pm.

Sr. Deputies Ryan Clarke and Brian Sutter arrived to find a 1999 Dodge Intrepid, down an embankment, north of the crossing. The 19-car Portland-Western Railroad freight train stopped just north of the crossing.

Woodburn Fire District medics were on the scene, but soon learned that no one was injured in the crash.

Deputies learned that the train was traveling northbound at less than 25-mph, having just taken on a load of rocks at the nearby Knife River Quarry. The Dodge Intrepid was traveling eastbound on Waconda and failed to stop for the stop sign posted at the un-gated crossing. The train engineer told deputies he braked and sounded his horn, but was unable to avoid the collision. The speed limit for trains in this area is 25-mph.

The driver of the Dodge was identified as Graciela Garcia-Soto, 34. Her 12-year daughter was a passenger in the front seat. Both were wearing seat belts. Garcia-Soto was unable to explain why she didn't stop for the oncoming train. She was cited for not stopping at the intersection.

The name of the train operator is not available at this time. The train continued on its way after the investigation was complete. Traffic on Waconda Road was blocked for about an hour.

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