News Update: Mendon, MO: Latest Information: Deadly Amtrak’s Southwest Chief Passenger Train 4 Crash and Derailment.

By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews)

Source: Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper B (Information)

Picture: Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper B (Courtesy)

Mendon, Missouri: An Amtrak’s Southwest Chief Passenger Train 4 traveling from Los Angeles, California to Chicago, Illinois crashed into a dump truck that was along an uncontrolled crossing At around 12:45 p.m. CDT on Monday, June 27th, 2022 causing approximately 2 locomotives and 8 passenger cars to derail off railroad track, and leaving 3 passengers and the dump truck driver dead and 150 people on board the passenger train injured.

The following is the latest information regarding the deadly Amtrak’s Southwest Chief Passenger Train 4 crash and derailment.

*** As of 11:59 p.m. PT on Wednesday, June 29th, 2022: ***

The National Transportation Safety Board, Amtrak’s Southwest Chief 4 was traveling at 87 mph at the time it hit a dump truck at a crossing near Mendon, Missouri on Monday afternoon.

“The speed of the train when the horn blew, when it started blowing, which is about a quarter-mile out from the crossing, at that point was 89. At the time of impact, it was 87 mph. The speed at that crossing is 90 mph. That’s the speed limit,” said NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy.

The investigation into the passenger train crash and derailment is focusing on the angle of the tracks, the incline of the crossing, and how much the truck driver could or could not see as he crossed it.

“We have to look at the approach to this crossing. It is very steep, very steep, which really has an impact when you are moving pretty heavy, large vehicles,” said NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy.

Jennifer Homendy said the dump truck was hauling large pieces of rock from a quarry to a levee for an Army Corps of Engineers project.

“There is a lot resting on a driver to be able to see a train at these crossings, particularly when there’s such a steep incline,” said NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy.

Jennifer Homendy also said the Porche Prairie crossing is hard to navigate.

“You have to look for the train. You have to worry about ‘Am I going to get up? Am I going to stall out? Am I going to get over?” said NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy.

The National Transportation Safety Board has 16 experts investigating the crash, and will be looking at how much dust, trees, vegetation or even the truck’s side mirrors may have blocked the dump truck driver’s view.

“Safety isn’t improved until the lessons learned from a tragedy are addressed,” said NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy.

Jennifer Homendy said the National Transportation Safety Board will examine the crash video frame by frame, and has significant concerns with the crossing and something needs to be done to make it safer.

“Action needs to be taken so that another accident doesn’t occur, another death doesn’t occur, another serious injury doesn’t occur. It’s imperative that we take action,” said NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy.

Jennifer Homendy said the agency will be releasing a preliminary report with facts on the crash in two weeks, and in the upcoming weeks and months ahead, it will provide more analysis on what happened.

The he National Transportation Safety Board will continue to meet with stakeholders in hoes to determine how they can prevent this from happening again and address this particular crossing.

Jennifer Homendy said there are thousands of passive crossings like this one across the United States, but right now she’s focused on getting this one in Mendon fixed.

 

*** As of 1:45 p.m. PT on Wednesday, June 29th, 2022: ***

The Missouri State Highway Patrol have confirmed and released on Wednesday, June 29th, 2022 the identities of the 4 victims of the deadly Amtrak’s Southwest Chief Passenger Train 4 crash and derailment.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the dump truck’s driver has been identified as 54 years old Bill Barton II from Brookfield, Missouri.

Kim Holsapple and Rochelle Cook are sisters and were passengers on board the passenger train, and were pronounced deceased at the scene.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the 2 sisters at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/kim-and-rachelle-family

Bill Barton was also a passenger on board the passenger train, and was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident by Chariton County Coroner Nye Bowyer.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the 3 passengers have been identified as 58 years old Rachelle Cook from De Soto, Kansas; 56 years old Kim Holsapple from De Soto, Kansas; and 82 years old Binh Phan from Kansas City, Missouri.

At least 150 people on board the passenger train were also injured; exact what cities and states the injured people were from is not yet know.

Amtrak’s Southwest Chief Passenger Train 4 provides service from Los Angeles, California and Chicago, Illinois, including stops at Barstow, California; Needles, California; and Kingman, Arizona.

Before the crash and derailment, Amtrak’s Southwest Chief Passenger Train 4 had approximately 275 passengers and 12 crew members on board when the passenger train departed Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles, California on Saturday, June 25th, 2022 making a total of 25 stops for passengers along the way, including 6 stops in California.

 

*** As of 11:59 p.m. PT on Tuesday, June 28th, 2022: ***

Missouri State Highway Patrol confirms that Amtrak’s Southwest Chief Passenger Train 4 crash and derailment leaves 4 people dead and 150 people injured.

Amtrak’s Southwest Chief Passenger Train 4 provides service from Los Angeles, California and Chicago, Illinois, including stops at Barstow, California; Needles, California; and Kingman, Arizona.

Before the crash and derailment, Amtrak’s Southwest Chief Passenger Train 4 had approximately 275 passengers and 12 crew members on board, and departed Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles, California on Saturday, June 25th, 2022 making a total of 25 stops for passengers along the way, including 6 stops in California.

Reports that at least 2 Boy Scout troops from Appleton, Wisconsin were on board Amtrak’s Southwest Chief Passenger Train 4.

Scott Armstrong, Director of National Media for Boy Scouts of America, told CNN that a total of 16 scouts and eight adult leaders were on board.

According to Scott Armstrong, the scouts who were on the train are believed to be between 14 and 17 years old, and he confirmed none was hurt.

Scott Armstrong also said that all 16 Boy Scouts and their adult leaders stayed an the scene of the train derailment to render aid and assist people that were hurt, according to Armstrong.

The two different troops were on their way back from a stay at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, Armstrong said.

Armstrong said the Boy Scouts of America is now working to get the scouts and their leaders back to Wisconsin.

Amtrak is instructing families who had friends and family on board of the train to call: 1 800-523-9101.

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