Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

April 2, 2013

Batavia was site of train derailment in 1990


BATAVIA — Monday's fatal collision between a van and a train at Batavia appears to be the first significant incident involving a train in town since 1990.

Investigators say Monday's crash happened after Tara Lewman, 25, drove around signal arms and into the path of an oncoming train. Lewman and Jordan Clark, 1, both of Batavia, survived. Kallie Clark, 5, and Erika Clark, 4, were killed.

On April 23, 1990, the California Zephyr derailed at Batavia. Damage was estimated at $1.8 million. That's equivalent to more than $3 million today.

There were no fatalities in the 1990 crash, but there were numerous injuries. According to a safety recommendation memo written by the National Transportation Safety Board after the crash, one passenger sustained serious injuries and another 75 received minor injuries. Ten crew members also suffered minor injuries.

That crash was caused by a rail buckling underneath the train. The last eight cars in the train came off the rails.

The NTSB recommended that the Federal Railroad Administration review track safety standards as a result of the crash.