CHICAGO (CBS) — Crews spent more than 12 hours repairing the tracks and cleaning up debris, after an Amtrak train derailed Sunday in University Park in a deadly collision with a box truck.
A southbound Amtrak train traveling approximately 70 mph hit a box truck around 5 p.m. Sunday at the University Parkway crossing in University Park, killing the truck driver, 77-year-old Richard Millette, of Frankfort.
“I don’t think there was anything left of that truck, to be honest,” said Amtrak passenger Stephen Andres. “Thoughts and prayers to the family.”
Five passenger cars and the locomotive derailed as a result of the collision.
“All of a sudden, a big bang. Don’t really think anything of it. Drink comes over me, and then all of a sudden I look behind me and I see all the debris from the car that was struck,” Andres said.
Authorities said nearly 300 passengers and five Amtrak crew were on board the train at the time. Two passengers suffered minor injuries and were taken to the hospital.
University Park police were investigating the cause of the collision, but Amtrak officials said the crossing lights and warning signals appeared to be working at the site of the crash.
Amtrak brought in charter buses to take passengers to their destinations. Some said the impact was hard to forget.
“I actually was reading a book, and the next thing I knew I was into the wall, and you could see debris on the side of the train,” Zinnia Biggs said.
Two trains scheduled for Chicago to New Orleans were cancelled on Monday.