A westbound Canadian Pacific Railway freight train struck a McHenry County Sheriff's deputy vehicle on the morning of Nov. 12 near Drake, confirmed the railway and the North Dakota Highway Patrol. The deputy, Charles Farrington, has since resigned from his position and is in the hospital recovering from injuries, mainly to his arm, sustained in the incident.
"Our crew did not sustain any injuries," said Andy Cummings, a CP Railway spokesman.
The deputy was responding to a vehicle crash near Voltaire, said Capt. Gary Orluck of the North Dakota Highway Patrol, which is the agency investigating the case, when he was struck by the train.
Farrington, who was driving a Sheriff's Office pickup truck at the time, "was cited for failure to stop at a designated railroad crossing," Orluck said. The vehicle was most likely totaled, though Highway Patrol estimated at least $15,000 damage on the crash report.
Farrington had reported after the case that there was a lot of construction in the area and that the crossing gates were often down for this reason and that he had not seen the train coming, according to McHenry County Sheriff Marvin Sola.
Farrington resigned amid the controversy. The department is a small one, said Sola, and deputies "have to take care of things on their own." There are a total of seven members of the McHenry County Sheriff's Office, including Sola. "If you look at a map we cover a great many miles and I rely on them (the deputies) to make good judgement calls."
"He's going to be laid up for a couple months, at least," Sola said of the injuries the deputy sustained in the incident. "He's a good guy. Doctors say he'll be fine and regain full use of his arm."