Wolf Point Herald

Amtrak Train Hits Pickup Near Culbertson

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Firefighters disconnect the battery in the pickup truck and search for fuel leaks in order to render the vehicle safe.   (Photo by Pat Drescher)

An eastbound Amtrak Empire Builder passenger train struck a pickup truck at a railroad crossing on Star Coulee Road, about four miles west of Bainville, Thursday, Aug. 21.
The Montana Highway Patrol, Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office, fire and rescue squads from Bainville and Culbertson, and ambulances from both communities, responded to the crossing just off U.S. Hwy. 2 at about 4 p.m.
The train crashed into the vehicle just behind the driver side door, according to Culbertson firefighter Pat Drescher.
The train was reported to have been able to stop about 100 yards down the track.
MHP trooper Jordan Gulick said the driver was the sole occupant of the vehicle and had been ejected upon impact.
Gulick confirmed that the pickup truck was owned by Waste Management and driven by an Arkansas man who has not been identified.
The man was transported by ambulance to Roosevelt Medical Center in Culbertson and later flown to a Bismarck, N.D., hospital. His condition was not known Tuesday, Aug. 26. Law enforcement sources reported that he was alive.
Gulick said the driver was ejected from the truck.
The crossing was marked by a railroad crossing sign, but there was no signal.
Gulick responded to a question of whether the driver attempted to beat the train.
“I’ve yet to talk to the driver because of his injuries but that’s what a witness told me,” he said. “I cant imagine he never saw it.”
Gulick said the driver will be cited for disobeying the railroad crossing sign.
Mike Olson of the Culbertson Fire Department said in addition to the response by both Bainville and Culbertson fire and ambulances, fire and rescue personnel from Froid were on standby.
He said the Amtrak train did not sustain any damage.
Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the train with 264 passengers was delayed for two hours and two minutes. There were no injuries on board.
Waste Management spokesman Robert Kidwell said driver of the pickup sustained non-life threatening and has been released from the Bismarck hospital.
He said the driver was en route to North Dakota.
“We’re just thankful that the injuries were not life threatening and non one on the train was injured as a result of the accident,” Kidwell said.

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First Day

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Children throughout the area were back in school Wednesday, Aug. 20. This thundering herd is Northside Elementary School children getting off a bus shortly before 8 a.m.  (Photo by John Plestina)

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Three Of 14 New MHP Troopers Assigned To Roosevelt County

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From left to right: Adams, Schuler and Timmins.

The Montana Highway Patrol commissioned 14 new troopers, Friday, Aug. 22, at the 57th Advanced Academy Graduation ceremony. Three will work in Roosevelt County.
Members of the 57th academy class included Seth Adams and Stephannie-Colleen Timmins, both assigned to Wolf Point, and Derek Schuler, assigned to Culbertson.
Adams is from Bozeman. He was awarded the camp commander award and for physical fitness at the academy.
Timmins is also from Bozeman.
Schuler, from Apple Valley, Calif.
Gov. Steve Bullock addressed the graduates, which took place at the Great Northern Hotel in Helena.
Attorney General Tim Fox said, “Now more than ever, we’re reminded that law enforcement is an inherently dangerous profession. These men and women will place themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis as part of the routine duties of their profession. I thank them for their sacrifice and commitment to serving all Montanans and keeping our roadways safe.”
Other members of the 57th academy class included: Trever Chase, assigned to Hardin, from Helena; Joshua French, assigned to Hardin, from Harrisburg, Pa.; Ryan Janes, assigned to Superior, from Florence; Lewis Johnson, assigned to Broadus, from Chester; Benjamin Kecskes, assigned to Glendive, from Helena; Kristy Kees, assigned to Glendive, from Missoula; Thomas Manz, assigned to Kalispell, from Seattle, Wash.; David Morris, assigned to Billings, from Bozeman; Joshua Nanna, assigned to Kalispell, from Whitefish; Alicia Williams, assigned to Kalispell, from Great Falls; and Michael Williams, assigned to Ryegate, is from Baileys Harbor, Wis.

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22nd Annual Poplar Indian Days This Weekend

A Labor Day weekend tradition in Poplar since 1993, the 22nd annual Poplar Indian Days will be held under the arbor in American Legion Park, Friday, Aug. 29 through Sunday, Aug. 31.
Grand entries will be Friday at 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 1 and 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28 will be camping day and a youth pow wow will be held. Spotted Bull Treatment Center will present a candlelight ceremony Friday at dusk.
Dance categories will include: adult; teen, ages 13-17; junior, ages 7-12; and tiny tots.
Sen. John Walsh, D- Mont., will present a flag for grand entry Friday, Aug. 29.
The Iron Ring Celebration, held annually in Poplar in July until 1992, was the predecessor of Poplar Indian Days.

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Area Child Molester Dies In Prison

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A man who had taught golf skills to Wolf Point junior and senior high school students and pleaded guilty over five years ago to sexual abuse of children, died in the Montana Department of Corrections Lewistown Infirmary, Monday, Aug. 25, from what the DOC termed an extended illness.
Daniel Burns, 76, was serving a 25-year sentence in the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge and had been moved to the medical facility in Lewistown.
Burns entered into a plea agreement in 15th District Court, March 9, 2009. Judge David Cybulski sentenced Burns, then 70 years old, to 60 years in the custody of the DOC, with 35 years suspended. His discharge date was Aug. 18, 2033.
District court clerk Jeri Toavs said Burns died owing $6,136 of a fine plus surcharges.

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