Derailed Train Lands Feet from Landlocked Home

By: Kim Eiten Email
By: Kim Eiten Email

For one Nebraska family, their nightmare was realized Sunday night.

Forty Union Pacific train cars came off the tracks just feet from their home, which is inaccessible to anyone by car.

They're landlocked by an unusable bridge.

Two weeks ago, Mike Diller told 10/11 News one of his family's worst fears is rescuers being unable to get to his family in case of emergency.

Every night, the family crosses their fingers and hopes nothing happens while they sleep in their landlocked home.

"You can't get emergency services down here in case an emergency would happen," Diller said.

Until Sunday morning, it was a worry they hadn't had to face head on. Now, they've got dozens of derailed train cars feet from their back door.

It's a metal mess that's taller even than their home.

"We noticed a loud roar and the house started shaking," Diller said.

With damage to their house, and a little noise disturbance to deal with, Diller is grateful that he and his wife and their young son are safe.

He's even hopeful this could speed along an answer to the bridge problem they've been dealing with for months.

"Jefferson County has abandoned us back here like I'm not even a taxpayer," Diller said in late January.

"Everything I see and have points that it's not a county structure," Jefferson County Highway Superintendent William Hansel said, also in late January.

Whether it's county, federal or private, the Diller family just wants to find out sooner rather than later.

"I don't know what it's going to take. It's almost like they're just waiting for someone to die back here," Diller said.

The family has a court date pending. They hope it might come sooner after this close call.

10/11 News did contact Union Pacific to see what caused the derailment. They did not return our calls.

In the meantime, the Diller family looks to the community for support. They say, so far, they've seen an outpouring.


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