At about 4:45 p.m., Allen D. Krogstad, 45, of Wentworth was westbound on the highway and had stopped his Ford F-150 pickup at the crossing for a passing train.
Rebecca S. Lamma, 50, of Madison was also westbound on SD-34 and came up to Krogstad's vehicle while it was stopped.
Both drivers were alone in the vehicles.
Before she could come to a full stop, Lamma's Chevrolet Impala struck the pickup in the rear at an estimated 35 mph.
Krogstad was sent to Madison Community Hospital with reported neck and back injuries.
Lamma had admitted to the consumption of alcohol and was tested at 0.061. She was cited for no driver's license, careless driving and following too closely [Chuck Clement, "Wentworth Man Injured in SD-34 Accident," Madison Daily Leader, 2010.09.09].
I can only imagine the fear the pickup driver felt: Holy crap: that lady's not stopping. The train's in front of me. I've got nowhere to go. Thank goodness for Ford engineering. I'm sure those neck and back injuries are no picnic, but that guy's lucky the coroner wasn't disentangling his neck and back from the undercarriage of the train.
As for the woman "following too closely"...
- It's 4:45 p.m. It's not even happy hour yet. Why on earth are you drinking?
- No driver's license? I know the computers were down and the line was long at the Lake County driver's license station Tuesday, but really, what are you doing on the road in the first place?
- It's not like the guy in front of you romped on the brakes suddenly to avoid a turtle. That's a gosh-darn train in front of you. You weren't even drunk-drunk, just buzzed: so how do you not see a train that ought to be visible from a half-mile away?
The moral for my fellow Madisonians: put down the beer, the phone, or whatever the heck else is taking your eyes off the road.
Update 09:33 CDT: Dang, maybe Madison should have applied for some of the $1.4 million Uncle Sam just gave 50 South Dakota communities for alcohol prevention.