Derailed Amtrak train hit stalled truck

Derailed Amtrak train hit stalled truck
© ABC News

An Amtrak train that derailed in North Carolina on Monday struck a 164-footlong tractor trailer that had been stalled on its tracks for as long as 20 minutes, The Charlotte Observer reports

The collision caused the locomotive and baggage car of the train, which was carrying 212 passengers, to derail in Halifax County, N.C., which is near the North Carolina-Virginia border. 

North Carolina Highway Patrol officials said there was no communication between themselves and Amtrak officials about the impending arrival of the train, according to the report. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“There was no indication a train was coming,” North Carolina Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Jeff Gordon said, according to the paper. 

“The trooper was out of the car,” Gordon continued. “He was actually trying to get the tractor to back up so he could attempt a second left turn.”

The Amtrak train that derailed was traveling 69 miles per hour at the time of the crash, according to the report. The train was on a trip from Charlotte to New York City on the company’s Carolinian route. 

About 50 passengers were injured in the accident, but Amtrak has said that none of the injuries thus far have been life threatening. 

The North Carolina accident was similar to incidents involving collisions between trains and vehicles on New York’s Metro-North and California’s Metrolink commuter railways that have raised questions about the safety of U.S. railroad crossing intersections. 

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has responded to the spate of accidents by increasing its effort to warn drivers about the dangers of being hit by trains. 

FRA Associate Administrator Kevin Thompson told the Charlotte newspaper that trucking companies normally report when their vehicles become stranded on train tracks. 

“First of all, it is a good practice, and transporters should call the toll-free number on a railroad crossing,” he said, according to the report. 

The FRA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have launched investigations of the North Carolina Amtrak accident.