Tractor operator killed in collision with Amtrak train identified

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WYANET, Illinois -- A man was killed when an Amtrak train collided with a farm tractor in Wyanet, just outside Princeton, Illinois.

Wyanet Fire Chief Aaron Elmore said the tractor operator was killed when he was attempting to drive over a private farmer's railroad crossing.  He was identified as 25-year-old Andrew Frese of Buda, Illinois.

The train heading from Chicago to Quincy was severely damaged by the collision. A new engine was sent to help move the train back to the station in Princeton.

One crew member was injured, but officials did not say how many of the 180 passengers were hurt.

The tractor was destroyed. When it was hit, it was towing a tank of anhydrous ammonia, a type of  fertilizer. It caused a brief hazmat situation, which the fire chief said was quickly contained.

A friend and former coworker of the tractor operator who was killed said he may have been looking back at the  toolbar and the tank to make sure it was coming over the tracks and didn't see the train coming.

The fire chief said the train would be moved after the tracks were cleared of debris.

The Bureau County Sheriff says the train engineer and a train passenger were taken to the hospital. Five other passengers were also hospitalized. They are all in stable condition.

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