Carroll man mistakes railway for gravel road
The Union Pacific railway in Carroll was blocked by a minivan stuck on the tracks for more than an hour Monday night after a man allegedly mistook the railway for a gravel road and drove on it for about 100 yards.
Nicholas T. Goetzinger, 27, of Carroll, was charged with trespassing the next day, police Capt. Mark Heino said.
Goetzinger didn’t report to police that his minivan was on the train tracks Monday just west of Burgess Avenue on the city’s west side, but a passerby saw the van about 9:30 p.m. and called police, Heino said.
It’s not known how long the minivan blocked the tracks.
“Some of the things I’ve seen over the years, I just shake my head,” Heino said.
It’s unclear why Goetzinger didn’t immediately report the incident — which under Iowa law is not a crime, Heino said — nor did Goetzinger explain how he got stuck on the tracks.
It’s also unclear whether Goetzinger drove most of the 100 yards on the railway’s graveled shoulder or on the tracks.
Union Pacific halted rail traffic in the area for about an hour until the minivan was towed from the railway.
Heino said rail traffic in Carroll must be stopped about twice each year for stalled vehicles and other reasons.
The trespassing charge Goetzinger faces is a simple misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail.
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