Driver killed in collision with train in Ephrata

EPHRATA — The driver killed when his vehicle collided with a freight train at a gated crossing in Ephrata has been identified as an 81-year-old man.

The Columbia Basin Herald said William Hertenstein of Grand Coulee was killed Tuesday morning.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesman Gus Melonas said officials are investigating how the Jeep Cherokee ended up on the tracks at a crossing with gates, flashers and bells.

The vehicle was hit about 9 a.m. by a westbound freight train. Melonas said no members of the train crew were injured. There was some damage to the lead locomotive. The accident delayed five other trains on the BNSF line until late morning.

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