Missouri state troopers say the dump truck driver killed in Monday’s horrific collision with an Amtrak train near Mendon is from northern Missouri’s Brookfield.
The state highway patrol says 53-year-old Billy Barton II was pronounced dead at the scene. The three train passengers who died have also been identified: two are from DeSoto, Kansas and the third is 82-year-old Binh Pham of Kansas City.
The collision injured 150 others.
Meantime, more than a dozen National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) team members walked the train derailment site on Wednesday, taking numerous notes and looking closely at the crossing and at the ground as well.
U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-Tarkio), who represents northern Missouri on Capitol Hill, tells 939 the Eagle that the NTSB is checking the train’s forward-looking camera footage.
“They were very interested in the truck, whether the truck stopped or paused. And so they’re kind of going through all of that and doing their preliminary investigation right now,” Graves says.
Congressman Graves is the ranking Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He says Congress has appropriated money to upgrade uncontrolled crossings like the one in Mendon. Uncontrolled crossings don’t have lights.
He says there are 130,000 similar crossings nationwide, primary in rural towns.
“There’s a lot of these crossings all over and it takes time to get to all of them. But there’s funding in all of our surface transportation bills when it comes to this. It is addressed,” says Graves.
NTSB investigators also checked the front of the Amtrak train on Wednesday. All of the damage is on the lead car’s far front left.