Woman in critical condition after collision involving train - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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Woman in critical condition after collision involving train

OTIS ORCHARDS, Wash. - A 44-year-old Otis Orchards woman was critically injured about 8:45 a.m. Tuesday when her 1998 Dodge Caravan was struck broadside by a Union Pacific Railroad engine crossing Arden Road south of Wellesley.

The railroad crossing is protected only by stop signs, and Detective Dave Thornburg said it was initially unclear if the southbound driver, Maria Walsh, stopped before entering the tracks.

Thornburg said the Union Pacific engine was running backward to Idaho to do switching chores and was not pulling any railroad cars when the collision occurred.  The engine was traveling about 48 miles per hour when it struck the Caravan in the passenger-side doors.

Walsh had dropped off a child at an elementary school just prior to the collision.  She was airlifted by helicopter to a downtown hospital where her condition was listed as critical.

Thornburg said visibility did not appear to be a factor.

He added that neither drugs nor alcohol appeared to be a factor. 

The collision remains under investigation.

- Spokane County Sheriff's Office

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