A truck driver in southwestern Minnesota escaped without a scratch even though a freight train sliced his trailer in half at a railroad crossing, authorities said Friday.

The collision occurred about 9 a.m. Thursday just northeast of Heron Lake in Jackson County, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Ben Brummer, 59, of Westbrook, Minn., had a full load of corn in his semi and was just about to arrive at the Heron Lake ethanol plant when the trailer was struck at the crossing by the Union Pacific train, said Sheriff Roger Hawkinson.

The severed portion of the trailer was thrown into a ditch, leaving the front half still attached to the truck cab, Hawkinson said.

That spot is "adequately marked" by crossbucks but does not have lights or crossing arms, according to the sheriff.

"He just didn't see it," said Hawkinson, who met up with Brummer at the scene. "He complained of no injuries.

"I think the realization was kind of sinking in as we spoke," the sheriff added. "It was one of those things he was thanking God for."

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482