REYNOLDS, Ind. — Authorities say a truck driver whose vehicle collided with a Chicago-bound Amtrak passenger train told authorities he saw the oncoming train but pulled into its path anyway because he thought he had time to clear the tracks.
Chief Deputy A.J. Alletto of the White County (Ind.) Sheriff’s Department says 55-year-old Jeffrey B. Hatfield of Bedford, Indiana, miscalculated when he pulled onto CSX tracks just before Tuesday morning’s collision.
The impact about 25 miles north of Lafayette cut the tractor-trailer rig in half and left the train covered with gray dust from the load of powered cement the truck was hauling.
Hatfield wasn’t injured, but Alletto says 11 people aboard the train complained of pain and eight were taken to local hospitals for evaluation.
He says none suffered serious injuries.
White County Sheriff Pat Shafer said the collision occurred about 8:20 a.m. on tracks running adjacent to U.S. 421.
“The collision ripped the truck in half,” Shafer told The Associated Press.
Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said none of the passengers and crew injured in Tuesday morning’s collision involving the Hoosier State line suffered serious or life-threatening injuries.
Magliari said the collision occurred shortly after the train left Lafayette, where it had made it second stop to pick up passengers after leaving Indianapolis. The Hoosier State stops in Crawfordsville, Lafayette, Rensselaer and Dyer in Indiana before ending its trip in Chicago.
Magliari said the train was carrying 56 passengers and three crew members when it collided with the semi-truck.
The (Lafayette) Journal & Courier reported the collision left two large pieces of the truck on either side of the tracks at the impact scene about two miles north of the White County town of Reynolds.
Magliari said passengers would continue their journey via chartered bus.