Two semi-train accidents were reported this week.
The first, in Grand Rapids, Wednesday afternoon, bent the semi in half, spilled the entire trailer of wood, but no one was injured. The semi was traveling southwest in the parking lot on the west side of UPM Blandin when a train backed into it, according to the Grand Rapids Police Department. The semi was crossing the tracks and did not see the train. A brakeman on the rear of the train did have to jump off to avoid the collision. The train, traveling about 9 miles an hour, struck the middle of the semi and pushed it about 30 to 40 feet. The trailer was a total loss. The driver was not identified.
The second semi-train accident occurred Wednesday in Mountain Iron. According to the St. Louis County sheriff’s Office, 67 year old James Saatela of Iron was driving the tractor trailer. Saatela had just completed an inspection and was pulling out of County State Aid Highway 7 as a train approached. The train sounded its horn and warning lights were flashing when Saatela began to cross the tracks. The truck was dragged several hundred feet. Saatela suffered minor injuries.