Local News

Amtrak train hits dump truck at Morrisville crossing

Posted August 16, 2010 12:53 p.m. EDT
Updated August 17, 2010 7:23 a.m. EDT

— An Amtrak train on its way to Charlotte hit a tractor-trailer dump truck early Monday afternoon, temporarily closing a Morrisville railroad crossing.

The wreck happened around noon at the crossing at 5701 McCrimmon Parkway near Chapel Hill Road.

Morrisville Town Manager John Whitson there were no reports of fatalities or injuries and that the track was passable.

The crossing was closed Monday while crews cleared the scene and installed new signals and authorities investigated the wreck, he said. The crossing reopened by 2 a.m. Tuesday.

The driver of the dump truck told firefighters that the signal at the crossing was green and that traffic was moving across the track prior to the collision.

He was in the process of crossing the tracks when, he said, he heard the railroad crossing hit the tractor-trailer, trapping the vehicle.

The force of the impact tore the empty trailer from the cab and threw it more than 100 feet. It took another quarter-mile for the train to stop.

"It was like bad turbulence, like in the air (on a plane)," said Cindy Hall, one of 39 passengers on board the train.

"Right after the jolt, maybe a couple seconds later, you're shrouded in a cloud of dust smoke. You couldn't see anything," her husband, Bob Hall said. "That's when we knew we hit something."