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Man killed when skid steer hit by train

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An Alexis, Illinois man was killed when the skid steer he was operating was struck by a train near Ophiem, Illinois.

The crash happened at about noon Friday, July 19, 2013 where the Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks cross U.S. 150 just north of Ophiem.

Initial reports indicated the train collided with a piece of construction equipment on the tracks where they cross U.S. 150. Police later confirmed a 52-year-old man operating a skid steer was westbound traveling through the crossing when he was struck by a BNSF train.

The skid steer operator was killed.

The tracks are located in the 7600 block of U.S. 150, about halfway between Orion and Alpha in Henry County, Illinois.

A witness said there are no crossing arms at that railroad crossing and he thought the skid steer may have been so loud the operator could not hear the approaching train.

Police were not allowing traffic on U.S. 150 in the area of the accident.

The man's name was withheld until his family could be properly notified by law enforcement.