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Four injured when Amtrak train hits auto carrier, derails

By | October 18, 2021

Vehicle sent airborne by collision apparently struck passenger car, causing injuries

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Damage to rear of locomotive and upper level of bilevel passenger car
Damaged locomotive and automobile on railroad tracks
Four people were injured Friday when Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer struck a truck carrying automobiles in Marietta, Okla. (Love County Fire Department)

MARIETTA, Okla. — At least four people were reported injured Friday night when Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer hit a truck carrying automobiles, derailing the locomotive and apparently causing vehicles from the truck to strike one of the passenger cars.

Damage to rear of locomotive and upper level of bilevel passenger car
The locomotive and first coach of the Heartland Flyer show damage from Friday’s accident. (Love County Fire Department)

 A Facebook post from the Love County, Okla., Fire Department reports the auto carrier had become high-centered on a grade crossing just north of the Texas-Oklahoma state line when it was struck by the train at about 7 p.m. The fire department reported five passengers were transported to a local hospital with non-critical injuries, but an Amtrak statement said the figure was four passengers. The driver of the truck was not injured.

Video presented by ABC News on its Twitter feed shows one vehicle onboard the truck going airborn at the time of the collision and apparently striking the side one car, leading to the damage shown in photos from the fire department. About 110 people were onboard the train bound from Dallas-Fort Worth to Oklahoma City.

News reports indicate the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

Interior of passenger car showing damage around window frame with window on floor
Damage to the Heartland Flyer coach as seen from inside. Four people were injured. (Love County Fire Department)

14 thoughts on “Four injured when Amtrak train hits auto carrier, derails

  1. This happens too often. Not sure if the crossing is marked warning trucks of possibility of getting hung up. But the warnings are often ignored. I know in Kings Mountain, NC, there were numerous signs at the crossings in that city warning trucks NOT to use those crossings and they repeatedly did anyways. And got hung up. Now those crossings have barriers installed making it extremely difficult for tractor trailers to use them. But I’m sure there are still some special cases of stupid trying.

  2. not sure how long he was stuck but there is an 800 number at every crossing to call when something like this happens. should not have happened.

    1. Exactly, working on a project with RR crossing nearby that our trucks have to go over and it is an explicit item on our safety plan and safety meetings. First, Do no use crossing if you think the truck, especially low boys, might get stuck. Second, call the 1-800 number on sign immediately if anything gets stopped or stuck on crossing.

  3. Common here as well, more common is the trucks hitting low bridges that are clearly marked but I guess drivers are distracted or do not know how high their rigs are.

  4. After another such incident a few years back – was in Memphis? – a trucker posted that this issue is covered in driver ed for truckers.

    I suppose this problem could be addressed by noting substandard crossings in a data base and attaching that data base to truckers’ GPS. Then it’s up to them to plan their routes.

  5. In the video you can see the front on the locomotive lift up, lucky the whole train didn’t derail would have been more injuries or deaths. I worked for a trucking co for a number of years these truckers would title the truck under some bogus named company & not in their name so as to limit liability. When they had a accident it was always “my load shifted or somebody cut me off”, when the real reason was I fell asleep or was driving to fast for conditions.

  6. Doesn’t look like a no horn crossing. Why no standard horn signal, just two short blasts before impact? I would think the crew would be steady in the horn till they got close and be diving for cover about the time they did sound two blasts.

  7. You cannot fix stupid! If a truck or car is stalled at a crossing, they should call 911 or call the 800 number attached to the crossbuck. I just read that a Operation Lifesaver Presenter asked people about the sign on a crossing signal. Many people did not know about it.

    Ed Burns Retired Class 1

  8. “ News reports indicate the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.”

    “Indicate” ? Really?

    NTSB WILL investigate!!

  9. I once called the 800 number on a crossing to report a malfunctioning gate. I gave up when nobody had answered the phone half an hour later.

  10. it was reported that there are 2 signs on both sides of the crossing that lowboy trucks will get stuck. A news report from the local ABC station sez the driver told police he took that road to avoid the state truck inspection stop on his set route.

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