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Minn. Commuter Train Hits Car; Man Killed

September 26, 2004

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ A commuter train broadsided a car that went through a railroad crossing arm, killing the 87-year-old driver. The 40 passengers on the train were unharmed.

The driver was headed south Saturday afternoon when he turned into the path of the northbound train, said Bob Gibbons, spokesman for Metro Transit.

Authorities identified the driver as Hilmer A. Iverson of Minneapolis. He had glaucoma and trouble hearing, according to his son, Gregg Iverson.

Gibbons said the crossing arm was down and hit the car’s windshield before passing up over the roof. The crossing arm does not lock in place to avoid trapping a car that might happen to be on the tracks when the arm is lowered, he said.

There were no indications Iverson was trying to beat the train, which was going about 40 mph. ``Witnesses have told us that he was driving slowly,″ Gibbons said.

The train line, part of the city’s new light rail system, was shut down for almost three hours while authorities reconstructed the accident.

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