Plaq. man killed in train wreck at Grosse Tete

Deidre Cruse

Duane Alleman, 44, of Plaquemine died of injuries he sustained when a Union Pacific train hit the state highway department grade-all machine he was driving at a Grosse Tete crossing around 7:45 a.m. Tuesday, according to Maj. Johnny Blanchard of the Iberville Sheriff's Office.

“We don't know if he didn't see the train or if he got stuck on the track,” Blanchard said. “It looked like he was trying to change gears.”

He said the Sheriff's Office is waiting for a video tap shot from the train's engine to determine the cause of the accident.

The accident occurred at a little used crossing marked only with a sign on the Cedar Street Extension, the major said. He said the section of railroad track normally has a 50 mile an hour speed limit for trains, but a Union Pacific contract crew was working there replacing crossties.

When the train struck, it pushed the Department of Transportation and Development “motor patrol” 72 feet off the roadway, Blanchard said. Alleman was thrown around the cab of the machine.

First responders arrived quickly and did what they could to stabilize Alleman, but he died on the way to a Baton Rouge hospital, the major said.