Highland News Leader

Coroner identifies man killed in collision with train in Pierron

Authorities have identified the man killed Thursday when a train collided with a truck in Pierron.

Jonathan M. Schrage, 38, of Breese was the driver of the 2006 Dodge truck, Madison County Coroner Stephen P. Nonn said.

First responders were called the scene at Illinois Route 143 and Railroad Street in Pierron around 2:10 p.m. on Thursday. According to police, Schrage was heading west, toward Highland, when he attempted to drive around the lowered crossing arms and was struck by a southbound CSX freight train.

“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,” said Illinois State Police Trooper Calvin Dye.

The train was comprised of three locomotives hauling eight cars of mixed freight from Cleveland to East St. Louis, according to the railroad.

Schrage was pronounced dead at 3:06 p.m. at the scene, by Madison County Coroner’s Investigator Kelsey Wofford. Routine toxicological testing for the presence of alcohol or drugs will be performed at a later time, Nonn said.

Debris from the truck was scattered for several hundred feet along the railroad tracks south of Route 143.

The crossing at Route 143 was not blocked, but was reduced to one lane with firefighters flagging traffic while Illinois State Police, CSX Railroad Police and corner’s investigators reconstructed the accident. Train traffic along the route was suspended while investigators worked.

From 2009 to 2014, Madison County had 22 collisions between vehicles or pedestrians and trains — eight at private railroad crossings and 22 at public crossings, according to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC). Madison County has 364 total crossings. There are 135 are private crossings, all are at-grade crossings. Of the public crossings, 149 are at grade, according to the ICC.

Funeral services for Schrage are pending at Moss Funeral Home in Breese.

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