There already have been several lawsuits involving Monday’s deadly collision between a dump truck and an Amtrak train near northern Missouri’s Mendon.
Kansas City’s KMBC-TV reports it’s becoming clear that the courts will also be deciding who was at fault. KMBC reports the widow of dump truck driver Billy Barton II has filed a lawsuit against Chariton County and a BNSF supervisor, alleging both knew the uncontrolled crossing where the collision happened was unsafe and that they didn’t do anything about it.
Meantime, a therapist with Columbia ties who grew up and still lives in Mendon describes the community’s response to the derailment as very humbling. Katie Smith says there were about 270 passengers on the Amtrak train, noting that Mendon has fewer than 200 residents.
“Within a matter of minutes, we had members of our community and all the surrounding communities (in northern Missouri) there helping,” Smith says.
Smith tells 939 the Eagle that there were five life flight helicopters on the ground at the same time, at one point on Monday. She says she’s never seen anything like this before.
Smith was one of the first people on the scene of Monday’s derailment.
“I knew that I lived in a great community and I knew that there were wonderful people around here, but it really showed me that this is exactly where I want to be for the rest of my life,” says Smith.
Smith says residents from all the nearby towns, including Brookfield and Brunswick, traveled to the scene to help.