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Train collides with semi-trailer in downtown Perham

Members of the Perham police and fire departments were at the scene of the accident Monday, working with BNSF Railway officials on an investigation into the crash. Photo by Marie Nitke, Perham Focus

A westbound train smashed into an empty semi trailer in Perham on Monday afternoon. There were no injuries, but the stopped train blocked passage through downtown for more than three hours during an investigation, frustrating travelers.

The semi driver, Edward Hodge, of Missouri, was leaving Barrel O' Fun and heading south when he crossed the railroad tracks at 6th Ave. NW and his trailer unexpectedly unlatched from the truck, falling onto the tracks. According to the Perham Police Department, Hodge tried to back up to hook the trailer, but gave up when he spotted the train.

The train was traveling at about 45 miles per hour on impact, pushing the trailer an estimated 30 yards north of the tracks.

Perham police, as well as the Perham Fire Department and EMS, along with BNSF Railway officials, were on site for the investigation. A separate investigation to determine how and why the trailer unhooked from the truck is also ongoing.

Hodge works for Warner Enterprise out of Omaha, Neb.