Metro-East News

Victim in Pierron fatal train crash was 35-year-old Breese man

Madison County coroner investigators say the driver who died in a truck-train crash Thursday in Pierron was a 35-year-old Breese man.

Chief Deputy Coroner Roger D. Smith said the deceased, Jonathan M. Schrage, died of multiple injuries.

Police say the driver of the Dodge truck went around gates at the railroad crossing in Pierron and was killed when a train hit his vehicle Thursday.

Schrage was a mechanic for a truck-repair business in Pontoon, was a self-employed farm mechanic and helped on his father’s farm.

The southbound CSX train collided with the truck around 2 p.m. at the point where the tracks cross Illinois 143 in Pierron, near the border between Madison and Bond counties.

Illinois State Police Trooper Calvin Dye said it appears the driver of the truck tried to beat the train.

“Preliminary investigative details indicate the driver of the Dodge truck was traveling westbound on Illinois Route 143 at Railroad Crossing Road toward Highland,” Dye said. “The gates were down, and the railroad crossbuck flashing lights were activated. The driver drove around the lowered gates and entered the railroad right-of-way.”

Smith said routine toxicological testing will be done to determine if drugs or alcohol played a role.

Moss Funeral Home in Breese was in charge of funeral arrangements.

According to obituary information, Schrage was a member of St. Rose Catholic Church and enjoyed tractor-pull competitions.

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