Local News

Two Dead After Amtrak Train Hits Dump Truck

Posted August 2, 2005

— Authorities say two people are dead after a collision involving a dump truck and an Amtrak train.

The accident occurred around 12:35 p.m. Tuesday near

Rush Street

in South Raleigh. The train, from Charlotte, had just left a Raleigh station headed for New York when it hit a dump truck that was filled with gravel.

Authorities say the truck was headed west on Rush Street when it collided with train, which was headed south.

A preliminary investigation shows that the crossing lights and gates were working. For some reason, authorities said, the driver drove around the safety gate.

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  • The collision knocked several cars off the tracks and upended the dump truck. Police said the two occupants in the dump truck died in the accident: Chris McCullough, 34, of Garner; and Keith Spence, 33, of Raleigh.

    Officials said there were 196 passengers on the train. At least 15 people, ranging in age from 11 months to 85 years old, were taken to WakeMed with minor injuries that included back pain, face pain, leg pain, and abdominal pain. Emergency officials said the injuries are pretty typical with the type of accident in which they were involved.

    The remaining 182 passengers from the train who were not injured were taken by bus to the Raleigh Convention and Conference Center. The passengers were transported to the convention center because the Amtrak facility in Raleigh was not large enough to accommodate the group.

    The convention center staff and the American Red Cross provided water and refreshments to the passengers.

    The accident is still under investigation. Rush Street between Hammond and Old Garner roads is closed to traffic. Motorists are advised to avoid the area. The closure will be in effect until the scene is cleared, which could be sometime Wednesday.

    The train, The Carolinian, travels from New York to Charlotte with 26 stops; 11 of them, including Durham, Cary and Raleigh, are in North Carolina.

    Anyone needing information on family or friends who may have been traveling on the train can call Amtrak at

    (800) 523-9101

    .

    and

    Paul LaGrone

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