A Greens Fork official was injured after a train struck his utility terrain vehicle.

At about 12:30 a.m. Saturday, July 8, Wayne County sheriff’s deputies responded to the report of a train crash in Greens Fork at the railroad crossing on South Water Street, south of West Plum Street. 

An initial investigation revealed that Rick Stewart was operating a 2016 Polaris UTV and attempted to cross the railroad track in the path of the oncoming eastbound Norfolk Southern train, said Sheriff Randy Retter. The train’s engine collided with the left rear of the Polaris. 

Retter said the railroad crossing signal appeared to be functioning correctly at the time of the crash. 

Stewart’s injuries weren’t life-threatening, and he was transported to Reid Health in Richmond for treatment, Retter said. No railway workers were injured. 

The investigation is continuing, Retter said. 

Stewart is the chief of the Greens Fork Volunteer Fire Department and sits on the town’s council.

After Lynn resident Tonya Rader died in 2021 when a train struck her vehicle at that same crossing, Norfolk Southern officials wanted to close the crossing, citing safety reasons. The railroad was going to pay a majority of the cost, using a state grant through federal funding. 

However, Greens Fork’s town council tabled the railroad’s proposal after a lengthy Sept. 9, 2021, meeting during which there were public comments for and against the proposal. Stewart served as a liaison to the railroad during that process.

Greens Fork Fire Department, Reid Health EMS, Indiana Department of Natural Resources and Wayne County Emergency Communications assisted in Saturday’s response.

WWN attempted to reach Stewart for comment, but did not receive a reply as of press time.

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A version of this article appeared in the July 12 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.