Truck Collides with Amtrak Train in Hanford

May 29, 2008 9:14:38 AM PDT
Amtrak passengers described the frightening scene after a truck slammed into a speeding train in the South Valley.The crash happened just outside of Hanford at Kansas and 10th avenues.

Railroad crews worked to get the train back on the track hours after the accident that caused a colorful mess. There was a yellow splash after a violent crash. Lemon peels spilled all over the train tracks. One passenger car derailed. The impact bounced more than 100 passengers out of their seats.

"There was a group of children up in front of the car on some type of school excursion and little children were flying through the air. It was bad."

"I thought I was gonna die. I thought the train was gonna flip over because it went up, derailed and went down again."

Investigators say warning bells were sounding off and the crossing guard arms were down. The flatbed truck went right through, knocking down the guard arms and knocking loose pieces of the train.

The train tipped over, hit a freight train and almost fell back onto the track. About 20 passengers suffered minor injuries and needed treatment.

The rest took busses to the Hanford station where they boarded another train and continued their trips three and a half hours late, with frightening images coming home with them.

"People went flying and objects were all over. It was just totally frightening."

The C.H.P. says the truck driver is in a Fresno hospital with just moderate injuries. They have no idea why he drove straight into the train, but investigators say he was going between 25 and 55 mph when the collision occurred.

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