Fairmount Park Trainers Die in Train Collision

Fairmount Park trainers Susan and Challis Irion were killed Aug. 18 when their pickup truck collided with a train in rural Collinsville, Ill.

The truck, attempting to cross tracks on Rader Ranch Road with an empty horse trailer, was struck by a train traveling at an estimated 40 to 60 mph and pulling about 100 cars, according to the Belleville News-Democrat. The accident took place at about 12:30 p.m. CST, instantly killing "Sue" Irion, 45, and her 49-year-old husband, better known as "Dale," a former jockey.

They died of head and chest injuries, according to a deputy coroner. Full autopsies are to be performed with a coroner's inquest expected in about a month.

The Irions, who lived in Waterloo, had three children, including a daughter, Heather, who is a jockey at Fairmount Park. The track held a moment of silence in their memory. A memorial service is to be held.

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