The train, which had 65 passengers and a crew of 13, was headed for Atlanta, then New York City. The severe impact of the accident caused passengers inside the train to fall backwards. Fortunately, there were no fatalities in this serious accident. However, five people were injured in the crash. Among the injured were three passengers, the truck driver and the train engineer. They were taken to local hospitals to be treated for their injuries.
According to Eric Johnson Law, the 18-wheeler was attempting to cross the train tracks and head into a factory. A stop sign is located before the train tracks, and apparently the truck did not stop, even though the Amtrak train was oncoming. The driver of the truck told the Assistant Police Chief that he did not see the train coming.
The Amtrak train hit the rear end of the flatbed trailer on the 18-wheeler. This caused the truck cab to turn and hit the 11-car train. The truck was transporting the metal shell of an armored personnel vehicle (APV) to the factory, which builds APVs. The impact of the accident launched the APV into the air, and it landed on its roof approximately 100 feet away from the scene of the accident.
The front three cars of the train were derailed upon impact. An electrical fire in the locomotive was stopped by local firefighters. To make matters worse, the train’s 2,000-gallon fuel tank was leaking diesel fuel. In order to prevent more severe consequences from the accident, emergency crews worked diligently to spray the train with flame retardant in order to prevent a potential fire from an explosion. In addition, several truckloads of sand were deposited surrounding the locomotive in order to prevent the spreading of the diesel.
Firefighters, police, state troopers, and sheriff’s deputies all worked together to clear the wreckage. The road was closed for the rest of the day and special equipment was brought in to help remove the derailed train cars off of the damaged track. Crews then began to lay down new track so that other trains could pass. The tracks were closed for approximately 14 hours. Louisiana police officials will continue to investigate the cause of the accident.