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WHITEWATER, KS – The driver of a semi truck was killed after colliding with a Union Pacific freight train on Kansas Highway 196 (K-196) near Whitewater, Kansas on Tuesday, August 10, 2010.

Semi truck driver killed after colliding with Union Pacific freight train near Whitewater, KS

Whitewater is in Butler County, Kansas in the south-central part of the state about 133 miles southwest of Topeka, about 30 miles northeast of Wichita, about 122 miles southwest of Manhattan and about 50 miles southeast of Hutchinson.

The accident happened in Harvey County at about 1:45 p.m. at the railway crossing on K-196 near Osage Road just west of the County line between Harvey and Butler counties.

Location of semi truck and train accident near Whitewater, Kansas on Tuesday, August 10, 2010.

The man who was killed was Herbert Entz, 80 years old from Whitewater. He died at the scene. The report from the Kansas Highway Patrol said that he was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident.

Entz was pulling a double trailer at the time. The semi truck was hauling a load of corn. He was travelling eastbound on Hwy 196 at the time. When Entz approached the tracks, the arms were down, but witnesses say Entz tried to get around them and that was when he was struck by the southbound train.

The train struck the cab of the truck. Entz was killed upon impact.

Witnesses told law enforcement that the crossing arms were down and flashing at the time of the crash. They saw the truck go around them.


The Union Pacific engineer saw the truck  about a quarter-mile away and applied the emergency brake. Despite his efforts he was unable to stop the train in time to avoid the collision.

After the crash, the train proceeded through the crossing another 10 cars down the tracks before it was able to come to a stop.

The semi truck was crushed in the force of the collision and corn and diesel fuel were spilled onto the highway. The train was not carrying anything hazardous at the time and did not derail in the incident.

Fortunately, no passengers or railroad employees were injured.

Below is a Google street view of the railroad crossing facing eastbound at K-196 near Osage Rd. You can click the mouse and drag it around for a full 360° view of the scene of the accident.

View Larger Map

There was no damage to the train, and no one else was injured.

As of 3 p.m. the tracks and K-196 were to be closed until early evening as crews cleared the debris and while law enforcement officials gathered evidence from the crash scene.

Published by FELA lawyer Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP

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