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Published: Friday, 4/28/2006

1 killed, 1 hurt in Ottawa County crash

GENOA - A Maumee man who was a passenger in a tow truck was killed and the driver seriously hurt when the passenger side of their vehicle was struck by a Norfolk Southern train on a rural crossing northeast of Genoa shortly after noon yesterday, the Ohio Highway Patrol said.

The accident was Ottawa County's third such train collision within a month and the second involving a fatality.

James E. Geiger, Sr., 68, was pronounced dead at the scene by a physician with St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center's air ambulance.

The driver, Robert J. Ankenbrandt, 68, of Maumee, suffered serious injuries and was flown to the Medical University of Ohio Medical Center, troopers at the patrol's Sandusky post said.

The accident occurred on Nissen Road just south of Walbridge Road in Allen Township. The crossing is marked with crossbucks.

The wrecker, a 2001 Ford, was towing a trailer transporting a 1986 23-foot Sea Ray boat. The impact separated truck and trailer, although troopers said there was no damage to the boat. The truck, which was pushed 75 feet from the crossing and into a ditch, sustained heavy damage.

Neither the train's engineer nor its conductor were hurt, but troopers said the lead engine sustained some damage.

The truck was headed south on Nissen, slowed at the crossing, but did not stop for the eastbound freight train, troopers said.

Two other train-vehicle accidents occurred in Ottawa County earlier this month.

On April 11, Daniel Raymond Clore, 62, of Adrian, died on State Rt. 2 near Camp Perry when his tractor-trailer struck a Norfolk Southern train crossing the highway at night.

Ten days later, five members of an Oak Harbor, Ohio, family were hurt on State Rt. 358 along that same Norfolk Southern spur when their vehicle struck a train, also at night.

Both of those incidents involved crossings marked only with crossbucks.

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