Updated: 07/18/2014 10:54 PM
Created: 07/18/2014 10:53 PM WDIO.com
By: Zach Hammer
An 87-year-old man was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries after a North Shore Scenic Railroad Train collided with his minivan Friday afternoon.
Police say they responded to the accident just before 3:30 p.m. at 45th Avenue East and Superior Street.
The general manager of the North Shore Scenic Railroad says that the driver entered the tracks despite the railroad crossing lights flashing and was struck on the front driver's side.
The train was traveling at a relatively low rate of speed and was able to apply the emergency brakes, averting a potential disaster.
"Had this been out in a rural area, faster speeds, much more damage could have been done," Ken Buehler said. "The man is very lucky. It's a very unfortunate incident, and again, follow those traffic signals at all intersections and crossings. The train will always win."
Police say the man was issued a citation for failing to yield to a train at a railroad crossing.
The accident comes one day after the Duluth Police Department conducted a special traffic detail in the Lakeside neighborhood to raise awareness about people failing to yield at railway intersections. Police say they stopped 26 motorists and 18 bicyclists for failing to stop.
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