EARLVILLE - A motorist was spared from major injury after a train clipped the right front fender of his pickup truck at a railroad crossing with no electric signals at a blacktop road near Earlville on Friday afternoon, according to one emergency worker at the scene.

"They transported him by ambulance, but he wasn't hurt that bad," Earlville fire chief Larry Todd said.

Matthew W. Ruddick, 26, of Earlville was transported to Mendota Community Hospital by an Earlville ambulance.

La Salle County Sheriff's Office was investigating the accident that occurred at 12:30 p.m. on North 47th Road about one-eighth mile west of East 13th Road on what Todd referred to as a rail siding that leads through Rollo and other communities.

Todd and a La Salle County officer both noted it was not the major BNSF line that's busy with freight traffic and Amtrak trains.

Todd said the pickup was in a ditch about 60 feet from the crossing after the impact. He said the fire department didn't have much emergency work to do other than to disconnect the truck battery.

A preliminary report from La Salle County Sheriff's Office noted problems with the sight line due to cornfields near the crossing. A county officer said the train was moving at about 25 mph.

No charges were filed as of Friday night.

Mendota Community Hospital would neither provide a condition report nor indicate whether Ruddick still was a patient there, citing privacy laws.

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