Metro-East News

One dead after Amtrak collides with truck in Madison County

An Amtrak passenger train collided with a truck Sunday morning in Madison County, resulting in a fatality.

A passenger on the train, Belleville attorney Patrick Sullivan, said the train stopped about 10 a.m. in the Godfrey area, and passengers noticed an odor of gasoline. Police officers boarded the train and said it had collided with a truck, Sullivan said.

Coroner Steve Nonn confirmed there was at least one fatality. Nonn said an investigator from the coroner’s office was on the scene as of 11 a.m. Nonn had not yet released the identity of the truck’s driver, pending notification of next of kin.

There were numerous emergency vehicles on the scene, including Alton Police and Fair Departments.

The train is the Texas Eagle, which was running from San Antonio to Chicago when it hit a pickup at the Washington Street crossing in Alton, according to Amtrak officials. The train continued on its way to Chicago about 1 p.m.

None of the 256 passengers or crew members aboard the train suffered injuries.

Amtrak officials said the Washington Street crossing is marked with gates, flashers and bells.

Near the crossing, the truck’s bedliner, front grill and tools were strewn along the tracks. The crossing gate was off of the post, laying about 100 feet down the tracks. The truck and front of the train stopped about a half-mile from the crossing.

Last year, the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis reported there were 2,280 collisions between cars and trains across the nation. It listed the number of fatalities at 267. In Illinois, there are 11,598 crossings. Last year there were 134 car train collisions. Of those, 21 were fatal. The agency didn’t list any other car/train collisions at the Washington Street crossing.

On Saturday, two people in a Toyota Camry died after they collided with a freight train in Louisville, Ky. Two other occupants of the vehicle were injured.

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