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Hudson businessman Ben Morgan killed in truck, train crash

The site of the collision was on County TT, just east of Roberts. Morgan’s truck was headed southbound. This photo is looking north. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Steve Dzubay)1 / 3
Benjamin Morgan, 53, was the owner of Tri-County Sanitation, a company he took over from his father-in-law, the late Gene Cudd. Morgan's wife, Mary, operated Mickey Finn's Gift Shop in downtown Hudson for a number of years.2 / 3
Authorities investigate the accident scene of the Monday morning train-truck crash. Most of the vehicle was on the other side of the tracks and much of it was pushed a long distance down the tracks as the train attempted to stop. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Steve Dzubay)3 / 3

A Hudson businessman, Benjamin Morgan, 54, was killed Monday morning when the septic truck he was driving was struck by a train just east of Roberts. Morgan was the owner of Hudson-based Tri-County Sanitation.

The accident happened at 10:58 a.m. at 150th Street, just north of County TT in the town of Hammond (just east of Roberts). The accident involved a westbound Union Pacific train. The truck was traveling southbound on 150th.

The crossing is signed with a yield sign and a railroad crossing sign (no flashing lights or gates).

Early police reports indicated that the cab of the truck was destroyed and the driver was not immediately located. Soon thereafter, however, the truck driver was found and the officials on the scene called for the county medical examiner.

There were no injuries to the occupants of the Union Pacific train. UP officials said that the crew is being offered PEER Support, a counseling program for railroad employees involved in catastrophic incidents.

Morgan had operated Tri-County Sanitation since 1987. Prior to that, the business had been owned by his father-in-law, the late Gene Cudd. The business is advertised as “a full service septic service company.” The firm was also involved with installing septic systems with the partnership of A.C.E Soil/Jim Thompson master plumber.

Morgan was married to Mary (Cudd) Morgan in May 1984. Mary is also well-known in the business community, having owned and operated the Mickey Finn’s Gift Shop for a number of years. She was also active in the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau. She is currently an independent stylist for Stella & Dot, a home business that deals in jewelry, hand bags, gifts and more.

Several hundred people posted responses to Mary Morgan’s Facebook page by Tuesday morning. Among them were:

--Mark Gherty, Hudson: Wonderful man doesn't adequately describe Ben. Dutiful husband, dedicated father, loyal to his customers and good friend. I will miss seeing him near Mosquito Brook at the Birkie.

--Laura Foster, Hudson: Mary, we are so very sorry. We are holding you and your family close in our hearts and prayers. Peace and hugs from the Foster Family.

--Jodie Graff Bierbrauer, Somerset: Dear Mary, Mike and I are heartbroken at your family's devastating loss. Ben was an amazing, one of a kind man. He was a blessing to countless people over the years. May God comfort you in the coming days. We're praying for you.

--Dawn Marquart, Hudson: My heart just is aching for you. I couldn't believe the news. Mary, lean on God and your friends during this time. We are all here for you and your family. Praying that peace overcomes the pain.

--Ben Wasmund, Hudson: So sorry Mary, Ben was such a great guy, always so happy. We are thinking of you and your family.

--Jenny Olson, Hudson: Mary, My heart is aching for you. My deepest sympathy in your incredible loss of Ben. Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. Ben will be missed by so many.

Doug Stohlberg

Doug Stohlberg has been part of the Hudson Star-Observer since 1973 and has been editor since 1987. He worked at the New Richmond News from 1971 to 1973. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota.

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