Amtrak passengers and police are asking questions after one of the company’s trains collided with a tow truck in Charlotte, North Carolina. The truck was reportedly attempting to pull a stranded car off the tracks when the accident happened.
Thankfully, no one was hurt, but the consequences could have been much worse. The Amtrak train was carrying 193 passengers when it hit the recovery vehicle. Amtrak Train 20 was heading from New Orleans to New York and hit the rig at 3:27 a.m., according to company officials.
The sequence of events is under review by police. According to passengers on the train, there were officers already on-site with the stranded vehicle when the accident occurred. One passenger told WSOCTV Channel 9 that he saw blue lights ahead, but the train did not slow. He said there was a jolt and the train’s brakes engaged, stopping forward motion almost immediately. More could have been done to prevent the crash, according to the man, as he explained, “Somewhere somebody forgot to do something because we hit that vehicle at full speed.”
None of the passengers’ statements have been confirmed by police.
Accidents of this nature are exceedingly rare, with only one to two taking place each year. Most involve trains striking vehicles or people that are on the tracks for one reason or another, many times resulting in injury or death for whatever’s in the locomotive’s path. The fact that the train stayed on the tracks and did not injure anyone in the collision is truly noteworthy.