The Missouri State Highway Patrol and other authorities are continuing to investigate an accident involving the Southwest Chief Amtrak train striking a dump truck at a crossing in Mendon Monday afternoon. Public Information Officer Justin Dunn of the Highway Patrol reports on the accident.
Multiple injuries and deaths have been confirmed from the accident.
The train was traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago with approximately 275 passengers, plus crew members. Dunn said aid from throughout the area responded to the accident scene shortly after 1pm.
Northwestern High School in Mendon was used as a staging area to help treat the injured and assist passengers. Dunn says the emergency response and aid was impressive.
The injured were eventually transported to various area hospitals for further treatment. Passenger Laura Smalec of Los Angeles described the moment of impact.
Smalec sustained minor bumps and bruises from the accident. The uncontrolled crossing where the accident took place had no crossing arms, flashing lights, or warning bells to alert motorists. Dunn explained the next step of the accident investigation.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol will provide further updates in the future. Individuals with questions about their friends and family who were traveling aboard the train should call 800-523-9101. Local authorities are currently assisting passengers, and the company has deployed additional resources to assist.
*Authorities reported a fourth death Tuesday.*
Interview with passenger Laura Smalec: