Passenger Train Hits Milk Truck at Colorado Railroad Crossing, Badly Injuring Amtrak Engineer

Emergency responders look over an Amtrak train derailment on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024 near Keenesburg, Colo. (KMGH via AP)


DENVER (AP) — An Amtrak train crashed into a truck carrying milk at a northeastern Colorado rail crossing, badly injuring the engineer and sending three passengers to a hospital for treatment, authorities said.

The truck driver, a 31-year-old man from Fort Wainright, Alaska, drove through the crossing, which has a stop sign, and did not yield to the approaching Amtrak train on Monday night, Colorado State Patrol spokesperson Sgt. Troy Kessler said Tuesday. Neither he nor a male passenger were injured, he said.

The engineer, a 42-year-old man from Park City, Utah, was airlifted to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, but Kessler did not have any more information about his condition. Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said he couldn’t discuss the injured worker’s condition due to privacy reasons.

The crash around 10 p.m. near Keenesburg, a town of about 1,300 people roughly 35 miles (56 kilometers) northeast of Denver caused the eastbound California Zephyr train to derail. Although all of the passenger cars left the tracks, only the locomotive rolled on it side, Kessler said.

The crash is still under investigation, but the truck is considered to be at fault, Kessler said. Neither drugs, alcohol nor excessive speed are believed to have played a role in the crash, he said.

There were 69 passengers on the train, which runs between Chicago and the San Francisco Bay area, Amtrak said.

The tracks where the derailment happened were closed for repairs on Tuesday, preventing the Zephyr from making its full scenic two-day trip, Magliari said. Passengers were being offered refunds or the ability to reschedule their trips.


This story has been corrected to say that the truck driver is from Fort Wainright, Alaska, not Arkansas.

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