Fatal Train Crash Settlement 24 May 12

A lawsuit has been settled between the family of a Blue Earth County employee killed in a train crash and the Union Pacific Railroad. The railroad company has agreed to pay $650,000 to the family of Todd Ziegler, whose county dump truck was struck by a Union Pacific locomotive near Lake Crystal on July 13th, 2009. The driver of the truck, 42-year-old Jack Baker of Le Center, was also killed in the collision. That railroad intersection is the only one in Lake Crystal without lights or cross-arms, and the attorney for Ziegler’s family said the railroad industry has known for years that train whistles and warnings are inadequate, but have failed to take corrective action. Investigators claimed that neither Ziegler nor his co-worker could have heard the whistle from the train over the noise of the dump truck prior to the crash.