An Amtrak crash involving an Amtrak train and a car occurred after the motorist failed to heed warning signals of the oncoming train and made an ill-advised attempt to drive around the crossing bar, police said. Reuters reported on Dec. 12 that although the Amtrak train was carrying 46 passengers, none on them were injured in the Amtrak crash.
According to Sgt. Michelle Anaya with the Virginia State Police, the Amtrak crash happened Thursday morning on Route 40 in the small town of Waverly, Virginia.
Police say the car in the Amtrak crash, a Crown Victoria driven by Untron Drew, tried to go around a crossing bar when the functional warning lights were on. The driver's poor decision nearly cost him his life after the Amtrak train, which was traveling nearly 80 mph at the time of the crash, slammed into Drew's car.
Miraculously, Drew sustained non-life threatening injuries in the Amtrak crash. He was taken to a hospital in Richmond by helicopter and police say alcohol was a factor in the crash.
The Amtrak crash didn't cause the train to derail but Drew's vehicle was pushed about 30 yards.
Amtrak spokesperson Christina Leeds said the train in the crash was identified as Northeast Regional train 174 and it was operating from Norfolk to Boston.
Leeds also confirmed that there were no reported injuries to passengers and only minor damage was done to the Amtrak train.
According to Amtrak's website , the train left Norfolk at 5 a.m. and was scheduled to arrive in Boston at 6:30 p.m. The train was able to continue on its route when it was released by officials. The Amtrak crash scene has been cleared.
The recent Amtrak crash comes as an unpleasant reminder to the horrific crash that occurred on Sept 22, 1993, when Amtrak's Sunset Limited train derailed on CSXT Big Bayou Canot bridge in northeast Mobile, Alabama, killing 47 and injuring 103 passengers.
This Amtrak crash is still considered as the worst disaster in Amtrak's history to date and the deadliest rail disaster in the United States since the Newark Bay, New Jersey rail accident in 1958.
In June of 2011, a fatal Amtrak crash happened after a tractor trailer plowed into the side of an Amtrak train at a railroad crossing east of Reno, Nev. The Nevada Highway Patrol said that five people died in the crash.
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