Amtrak Southwest Chief train derails in Missouri, at least 3 taken to hospital

An entire Amtrak Southwest Chief train enroute east bound to Chicago derailed and toppled over on its side in Missouri. 243 passengers on board with multiple injuries and likely fatalities. the entire train has been destroyed.

It hit a dump truck that was likely attempting to beat the train. If so, the driver will hopefully face manslaughter charges as applicable and 200+ charges of reckless endangerment.

I rode the Southwest Chief years ago, from Flagstaff to Chicago.

The dump truck driver is one of the three dead.

I figured he might be, when I finally saw what was left of the truck.

Pretty much a given that he was at fault, whether intentionally or unintentionally, so I guess he paid the ultimate price for his negligence or malice, depending on what the investigation yields.

Your link doesn’t work anymore.

From a different article:

The crossing is known to locals as dangerous, particularly for people driving slow farm equipment, he said.

I had a very close call with a train once. The crossings had only just started going down when the train whizzed by at a high speed. I’ll never forget that and it scared the living daylights out of me.

Amtrak and BNSF are suing the company that owns the dump truck.

The facts are pretty clear and damning.

  1. The Southwest Chief was travelling within the speed limit for that area of track.
  2. The crossing bell, horn and lights of the Southwest Chief were working properly and the horn and bell were both sounding as required.
  3. Video from the train shows that a clear line of sight existed between the train and the dump truck.
  4. Video shows the Southwest Chief had no reaction time to even begin to brake.
  5. Evidence shows the driver of the dump truck was distracted by an electronic device (i.e. likely a cell phone)

Amtrak and BNSF should be held and absolved from all liability and the company that owns the dump truck should be held 100% guilty and liable.

BNSF owns the tracks and their own freight service has been severely impacted by this accident and there was considerable damage to the railroad tracks caused by the accident. Fortunately, there were two tracks along this section, so the period of total disruption was limited.

BNSF will have to be reimbursed for their damaged tracks and service disruptions.

Amtrak will have to be reimbursed for a completely destroyed train, crew injuries and service disruptions.

And numerous Amtrak customers (or next of kin) will need to be reimbursed for injuries or death.

So the dump truck company is going to have one hell of a bill to pay.

Looks like Amtrak passengers waived their right to sue Amtrak and instead must go through mandatory arbitration on their claims.

That would not affect suits against BNSF and the company that owned the dump truck.

In any event, I don’t see any liability for Amtrak (or BNSF) so arbitration will likely quickly end in Amtrak’s favor.

Victims only viable lawsuit target is the dump truck company.