On June 27th, 2022 the Southwest Chief Amtrak train collided with a dump truck at a crossing in Mendon, killing four people, including the driver of the dump truck. In the wake of the accident Northwestern High School in Mendon was opened as a staging area for injured passengers. Superintendent Dr. Eric Hoyt describes the beginning of that day.
From there, help came from across the area.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol, various EMS departments, and buses from local school districts helped transport passengers to different locations. Approximately 150 of the 275 people aboard the train were injured. Hoyt says the help provided by the local community was a great example of small town America at its best.
Hoyt recently traveled to Washington D.C. on behalf of both the school district and Chariton County communities to receive the Ready Communities National Service Award in recognition of the accident response. The award is currently on display in the Northwestern High School trophy case.