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Archive for Saturday, June 16, 2001

State Briefs

June 16, 2001

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EMPORIA: I-beam falls, kills truck driver

A truck driver who had just delivered a load of I-beams to a construction site was killed Friday morning when one of the 30-foot beams fell on him, police said.

Edwin A. Robinson, 71, of Foster, Neb., was standing by the truck while it was being unloaded at a construction site, Police Sgt. Pat Ford said.

Robinson was standing at the front left corner of the trailer, which had all the safety straps and chains removed for unloading.

A forklift operator was working on the right side of the trailer to unload it when the beam on the top of the trailer rolled off and crushed Robinson's chest, said Ford, who did not know what caused the beam to roll off.

AUGUSTA: Railroad crossing claims two lives

Two family members were killed and a third woman was critically injured Friday after a Burlington Northern train slammed into a pickup truck as it crossed the tracks near Augusta.

The train was headed into Augusta when it struck the vehicle about 8:45 a.m., said Butler County Sheriff Stan Cox.

The raised railroad crossing has three tracks and cross bucks, but no warning lights.

Investigators were not immediately certain who was driving.

The victims' identities were being withheld pending notification of relatives.

WELLINGTON: Guilty plea entered in toll-booth accident

A Minnesota truck driver pleaded guilty Friday to involuntary manslaughter for the death of a Kansas Turnpike toll-booth operator.

Eva Pat Wood died instantly after the truck slammed into the turnpike booth on Oct. 16.

Neal Johnson, of St. Peter, Minn., said he fell asleep at the wheel and that caused him to hit the toll booth at nearly full speed.

Johnson will be sentenced July 19 in Sumner County District Court.

Under the agreement, Johnson was taken into custody for at least 60 days, but could be sentenced to 32 months in prison followed by 36 months probation and 100 hours of community service.

A second count of keeping an accurate log book was dropped.

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