Two men driving a commercial truck hauling radioactive materials died Saturday night after colliding with a train near Culbertson.
The collision occurred near Road 1013 and U.S. Highway 2 East in Roosevelt County on Saturday around 5:15 p.m. According to Montana Highway Patrol trooper David Moon, the truck, traveling southbound, failed to yield to a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train traveling parallel to U.S. 2.
The box of the truck separated from the cab, landing in a ditch nearby. The occupants, cab and frame of the truck were also found in the ditch. The 18-year-old driver and the 21-year-old passenger were dead when officials arrived on scene.
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Occupants in the train were not injured, Moon said.
The truck was believed to be transporting radioactive filters, often used in oil fields, to a nearby dump site. The truck was owned by Owl Inc., a freight shipping company located in Culbertson.
The filters were dumped out along the tracks after the collision occurred. Moon said that the filters pose a low radioactive hazard.
According to Moon, there are no traffic lights at the train track intersection. The victims' bodies were transported to a nearby funeral home.
MHP, the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office, BNSF, Owl Inc. and fire departments and ambulance services from nearby towns responded to the scene. A hazmat contractor company from North Dakota will clean up the radioactive material around midnight, Moon said.