On Friday, a semi-truck crashed into an Amtrak train, killing at least six people and injuring more than 80. The crash happened about 70 miles from Reno, Nevada. Investigators are still going through the remains of two train cars that were destroyed in the fiery crash and may discover more victims in the process. A few people are still unaccounted for, but may have not been on the train at the time of the crash, since train passenger lists aren’t as strict as plane passenger lists. One of those killed was the 68-year-old train conductor.
Investigators do not know yet why the crash occurred. The truck driver died in the crash. The collision occurred at around 11:30 a.m. on Friday on a clear day. The truck driver drove past warning signs and flashing lights and didn’t apply the breaks until he was about 300 feet from the tracks. At that point, he could not stop the big rig in time and a violent, fiery collision was the result. Investigators are waiting for toxicology tests done on the driver and also reviewing his past medical history. They will also look at whether fatigue or distraction could have been a factor in the crash.
Investigators will look into the trucking company as well to see if they have a history of safety violations. The truck was owned by John Davis Trucking, based in Battle Mountain, Nevada. The truck was hauling empty gravel containers. It was the lead in a convoy of three tractor-trailers. The other drivers noticed and took heed of the train warnings and stopped well before the tracks. The fellow truckers are also being interviewed by investigators.
Conductor identified in fiery train crash (San Francisco Chronicle)