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October 1, 2012
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Floriston man seriously injured in vehicle-train collision

TRUCKEE, Calif. - A Floriston man suffered major injuries after the off-road vehicle he was driving collided head-on with a train Saturday afternoon near the California-Nevada state border, officials confirmed Monday.

Winthrop E. Crowell, 44, was airlifted to Renown Hospital in Reno after the incident.

According to a California Highway Patrol press release, Crowell was driving a special-construction, dune buggy-type vehicle eastbound along the tracks, east of Farad Road and just west of the Sierra County line, when his tires got stuck inside the rails and he was unable to free his left-side wheels.

Unable to swerve off the tracks and with a train approaching, Crowell slowed his vehicle enough for his passenger, Rachel Lamoreux, 45, of Truckee, to jump out before he continued to try to free his vehicle from the tracks.

The train, operated by Aaron D. Putnam, 29, of Citrus Heights, Calif., was traveling westbound on the same set of tracks and was unable to slow or stop for the vehicle. It collided head-on with the vehicle around 1:40 p.m.

Lamoreux sustained scrapes and scratches after jumping to safety. Putnam was uninjured.

The accident is still under investigation.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Oct 1, 2012 05:02PM Published Oct 1, 2012 04:54PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.