State troopers say four people are now dead and 150 others injured, following Monday’s collision between an Amtrak train and a dump truck near northern Missouri’s Mendon. That’s 80 miles northwest of Columbia.
The National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) 14-member team is at the derailment site, and they say the train hit the tail end of the dump truck at the uncontrolled crossing. NTSB has been interviewing the train crew.
The collision happened at an uncontrolled crossing with no lights. Chariton County presiding commissioner Evan Emmerich says residents and county officials have been pushing for a safety upgrade at that location for three years.
Meantime, a Columbia businessman who grew up in Chariton County is praising the government’s response to Monday’s deadly train derailment, describing it as highly-coordinated. Phillip Smith, who owns Peak Sport and Spine, arrived at the scene after the derailment, but says he wasn’t able to help in near the fashion others were.
“The government response was incredible. The county response, the state response, the (Missouri) Highway Patrol. I didn’t know we that had that many Highway Patrol in the state,” Smith says.
He also saw six Missouri Department of Conservation agents helping people at the crash scene.
Mr. Smith tells 939 the Eagle that farmer and volunteer firefighter Adam Mauzey was one of the first on-scene, literally jumping off his tractor to get there. Mr. Mauzey tried to administer CPR to the dump truck driver, before he passed away.
Smith says everyone who showed up at the derailment scene was there to help. He says residents from every nearby town helped out. Those towns include Mendon, Brunswick, Brookfield and Marceline.