PHOTOS: 2 dead, 20 injured in Sacramento-bound train-truck crash

5:04 PM, Jun 24, 2011   |    comments
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Video: Viewer video from Amtrak train crash

Video: Reno Gazette-Journal reporter talks about train crash

  • Photo courtesy of Jim Bickley
  • Photo courtesy of Robert Hill
  • Jim Bickley stands away from train crash
  • Photo courtesy of Jim Bickley
  • Photo courtesy of Jim Bickely

TRINITY, NV - Two people were killed and about 20 others were injured in a fiery crash in rural Nevada when a semitrailer collided with an Amtrak passenger train.

NHP Trooper Dan Lopez said the driver of the truck and one person on the train were killed in the 11:25 a.m. accident on U.S. 95 about 70 miles east of Reno.

PHOTOS: Amtrak train and semi-truck crash

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports an Amtrak conductor was killed in the crash. The truck, a gravel dump truck was traveling northbound when it hit the fourth car behind two locomotives.

A spokesman for Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno said two people were in critical condition, four were in serious condition and three were in fair condition. The conditions of those taken to a hospital in Fallon were not immediately known.

The truck was not carrying a load and only the driver was in the vehicle, Lopez told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Lopez told ABC Radio that witnesses reported the railroad crossing signals were operating and that the truck driver is to blame.

The train left Chicago at 2:55 a.m. and was headed to Emeryville in the East Bay Area, said Amtrak spokeswoman Sybil Evans. She said about 204 passengers and 14 crew members were on the train at the time of the crash.

Amtrak passenger Jim Bickley boarded the train in Salt Lake City and was supposed to get off in Sacramento.

"We were cruising along the desert, then all of a sudden there was a jolt and a huge ball of flames went by our windows and everybody starts screaming," Bickley said. "I have no idea how a truck could go blowing through a stop like that."

The crash happened in Trinity, about 200 miles from Sacramento where Interstate 80 meets U.S. 95. The train tracks cross the highway about three miles south of I-80.

Bickley said multiple ambulances, helicopters and personnel were on the scene. He said a fire that started at the front of the train was spreading.

"[The fire] is burning down the train, from one car to the next," Bickley said.

Authorities closed U.S. 95 between I-80 and about three miles south of the crash, reports the Gazette Journal.

Bickley said buses were sent to pick up passengers.

The National Transportation Safety Board confirmed it will be investigating the crash.

The Associated Press, Reno Gazette Journal and News10/KXTV

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