County farmer killed after being hit by train

Thursday, June 20, 2002

A Cape Girardeau County farmer was killed after the tractor he was driving across railroad tracks was hit by a train Thursday afternoon.

Earl Nabe, who was about 82 years old, was taken to Southeast Missouri Hospital by helicopter, where he died at about 2:45 p.m., a little over an hour after the accident.

Officials at the scene said Nabe was hurt badly. He was conscious, but could not speak, they said.

Emergency personnel at the scene, about five miles north of Cape Girardeau, said the train was traveling about 40 mph and Nabe was thrown from his tractor on impact.

Nabe was attempting to cross the tracks where they connect with County Road 653. The impact caused the tractor to roll into a muddied area and workers spent 15 minutes knee-deep in mud, as they put Nabe on a backboard and gave him oxygen.

The man's son-in-law, Clyde Wadlow, heard about the accident on his police scanner and hurried to the scene. He said that Nabe was a sharecropper who farmed soybeans on about 500 acres near the accident, which happened in an area locals call the Flora Bottoms.

The accident knocked down a telephone line and caused two of the tractor's tires to come off and roll several yards away.

Workers with Burlington-Northern Sante Fe Railway were on the scene taking pictures and inspecting the track. Those men declined to comment.

For more details, see Friday's edition of the Southeast Missourian.

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