• June 28, 2022

Four Killed, Dozens Injured in Amtrak Derail Crash near Mendon, MO

UPDATE (June 30, 2022): The people killed in this accident have been identified in news reports.

The three train passengers who lost their lives were Rachelle Cook, 58; Kim Holsapple, 56; and Binh Phan, 82. Cook and Holsapple were pronounced dead at the scene, while Pham was taken to a hospital and died later that day.

The truck driver, 54-year-old Billy Barton II, was also killed in the crash.

Reports indicate over 150 people received some form of injury in the collision and train derailment.

Mendon, MO — June 27, 2022, four people were killed and dozens more were injured when an Amtrak passenger train collided with a dump truck on tracks near Mendon.

According to reports the incident happened at 1:42 p.m. at a rural Missouri intersection with an unlit gravel road. Preliminary investigation suggests a dump truck hauling rock was across the tracks when the Amtrak Southwest Chief train, carrying around 250 passengers and crew from Los Angeles to Chicago, approached and crashed into it. Seven cars of the train derailed after the impact and the truck was demolished.

Three unidentified people in the train and one person in the truck died in the collision. Over 40 other people were transported from the scene to area hospitals.

Local authorities and investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will continue to look into the crash. Mendon residents say the intersection is dangerous as the train tracks lie on the top of an inclining gravel road that makes visibility difficult.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Train/Dump Truck Crash near Mendon

Clearly this is a terrible and tragic event and needs careful investigation to get to the bottom of it. Bringing in the NTSB is a smart move as their investigators are quite thorough, though there may be something of a wait before they release what they learn.

In the meantime both the victims of this accident and the families of the people who lost their lives may have a great many lingering questions about what exactly happened. Questions of visibility were brought up in the news, but was that the issue here? Reports also said there are no lights or electronic controls at that crossing, so could the lack of identifying features have played a part? Why did the dump truck stop at the crest of the hill? Was there something wrong with the truck? Did the driver stop briefly to look at his GPS or send a text? How far away was the train when the truck stopped on the tracks?

That's just a handful of the many issues that still need addressing. It's important not only to learn the full story of what happened here, but also to gather the evidence needed to hold the right parties accountable. The victims and families affected by the accident deserve the truth and every bit of help they have coming to them.

Three Killed, Dozens Injured in Amtrak Derail Crash near Mendon, MO
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