Sheriff: Drunk driver tried to 'beat the train' through railroad crossing, didn't make it

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Shaymus McLaughlin

Authorities say an intoxicated driver who was hit by a train at a central Minnesota railroad crossing told deputies she had been trying to "beat the train."

The crash happened around 1:24 pm. Saturday at South Boardman Avenue and VanAernam Street in New York Mills, according to the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office. A 32-year-old woman was behind the wheel of a Pontiac sedan.

As the vehicle passed through the railroad crossing, a BNSF train slammed into the car's rear passenger corner, the sheriff's office said.

Nobody was injured in the wreck, though the Pontiac had "moderate damage" as a result of the impact. The woman, who was the only person in the car, told deputies she had tried to "beat the train" and knew it was stupid, according to criminal charges filed Tuesday.

The sheriff's office said alcohol "was a factor." The woman, Moriah Flores of New York Mills, was arrested and booked into Otter Tail County Jail on suspicion of DWI.

She has been charged with two counts of gross misdemeanor DWI. According to the criminal complaint, she told authorities she'd been driving back from a work Christmas party in Perham and admitted to having one beer. A preliminary alcohol breath test registered a 0.341 BAC, according to the complaint, with another breath test done more than two hours after the crash returning a 0.30 BAC reading.

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