Moberly man dies in crash at U.S. 63 railroad crossing

Thursday, October 11, 2007 | 11:16 p.m. CDT; updated 4:49 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — A Moberly man died from medical complications Thursday after his vehicle rear-ended a gasoline tanker-truck on U.S. 63 at the COLT railroad crossing and veered into a grassy median.

A vehicle driven by Ralph Haller, traveling southbound on U.S. 63, struck the back of a tanker truck that was stopped at the Columbia Terminal railroad crossing at 6:02 p.m. Thursday. After striking the truck, Haller’s vehicle veered to the left, into a grassy median between the north and southbound lanes of U.S. 63.

Haller, 64, was injured and had to be removed from his vehicle by emergency responders.

He was taken to an hospital where he died, Columbia police said in a news release.

The driver of the truck — Travis L. Davidson, 30, of Hartsburg — suffered neck and shoulder pain and later went to a hospital for treatment.

Both vehicles had to be towed from the scene.

The accident is still under investigation, police said.

City officials have called the railroad crossing at U.S. 63, which was built in 1987 near the busy state highway, dangerous. At least three car-train wrecks and several rear-end accidents have been reported at the crossing. Officials have blamed the 70 mph speed limit at the intersection for the high number of serious accidents.

A 1997 wreck killed a Jefferson City man when his pickup smashed into the back of a school bus that had stopped at the crossing.

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