Nashua man killed in train collision
A Nashua man died after a train collided with the motor grader he was driving Friday morning, west of New Hampton.
The Iowa State Patrol says the fatal collision occurred around 7:45 a.m. near the intersection of Jasper Avenue and 220th Street. David P. Zwanziger, 64, of Nashua was driving north, plowing Jasper Avenue with a 1999 Caterpillar Grader, when he was hit broadside by a westbound, single-engine Canadian Pacific Train.
Zwanziger, a employee with Chickasaw County Secondary Roads for 20 years, was killed in the crash. The State Patrol says he was not wearing a seat belt. Zwanziger was the son of Virgil and Rosemary Zwanziger of Nashua.
The Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Office and the New Hampton Fire Department Rescue Squad assisted at the scene.
Chickasaw County Engineer Dusten Rolando couldn’t comment on the accident Friday, other than to say that the “accident is still under review by the state patrol.”
Chickasaw County Sheriff Marty Hemann said the atmosphere around the department and among county employees was somber on Friday.
“It was a bad accident,” he said. “The state patrol is handling this,” he added. “We basically just assisted with the accident, because it was a county vehicle. We can’t investigate our own, they have to do that.”
A lifetime resident of Nashua, Zwanziger graduated from Nashua High School in 1971. He enlisted in the National Guard, and before his employment with the county, he had worked for Pelland Sand & Gravel, White Farms, Allied Construction and Zwanziger Excavating.
According to his obituary, Zwanziger died "doing what he loved," operating a maintainer for the secondary roads department. He leaves a son, Jeremy, and a daughter, Dawn.
He is described as a man with a love for racing, including racing cars, trucks and snowmobiles. Getting vehicles and engines ready was just as fun for Zwanziger as the actual race itself.
Visitation for Zwanziger will be from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday at Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home , Olson Chapel, in Nashua. Services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Nashua.
The Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors observed a moment of silence Monday at 9 a.m., prior to the weekly meeting.