Missouri authorities identify 4 people killed in Amtrak derailment
(CNN) — Missouri authorities on Wednesday identified the four people who were killed when an Amtrak train crashed into a dump truck at a crossing near the town of Mendon earlier this week.
The victims were Billy Barton II, 53, who was driving the dump truck; and train passengers Rochelle Cook, 57; Kim Holsapple, 56; and Binh Pham, 82, the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) said. All but Pham were pronounced dead on the scene, the agency said.
Pham died at a hospital later that same day, MSHP added.
About 150 people were transported to hospitals following the crash for injuries that ranged from “minor to serious in nature,” the MSHP said Tuesday.
University of Missouri Health Care said it cared for 19 patients following the crash. Six patients remained hospitalized Wednesday morning, the health system said on Twitter.
There were roughly 275 passengers and 12 crew members on the train at the time of the accident, the MSHP has said.
Meanwhile, National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy is expected to hold a media briefing Wednesday evening regarding the derailment, the NTSB announced.
NTSB investigators arrived in Missouri on Tuesday and were trying to gather data such as the train’s speed, Homendy previously said. The speed limit for trains in the area is 90 mph.
An ‘uncontrolled’ crossing
The collision took place shortly after 12:40 p.m. on Monday, according to Amtrak. Eight of the train’s cars and two locomotives left the track, it said.
Preliminary reports indicated that the train, which was traveling to Chicago, struck the truck at a railroad crossing that was “uncontrolled,” which means there were no lights or mechanized arms.
The train has two forward-facing cameras and investigators were also on Tuesday downloading data from the train’s event recorder and checking to see whether the truck’s electronic control module was damaged in the collision, Homendy previously said.
The collision was the third in two days involving an Amtrak train. On Sunday, an Amtrak train passing through an intersection without crossing gates in rural Brentwood, California, collided with a passenger vehicle, killing three people and injuring two others.
Amtrak said in a statement that trespassing on railroad rights-of-way is the leading cause of rail-related deaths, adding the tragic incidents “serve as critical reminders about the importance of obeying the law and of exercising extreme caution around railroad tracks and crossings.”
Also Sunday, a motorist was killed when an Amtrak train collided with a vehicle in Alabama, Birmingham Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Sebastian Carrillo told CNN. In that case, the crossing had arms, audio and visual signs, Carrillo said. A release from the local coroner said the person in the car drove around downed arms.
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