2 dead after passenger train headed to Memphis crashes in Mississippi

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 5:00 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 16, 2021 at 5:55 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - An Amtrak train carrying over 140 passengers, headed to Memphis, crashed into a tow truck in Mississippi.

While no passengers were hurt, both people in the tow truck died from their injuries.

Video footage shows passengers being bussed from the crash site in Jackson to the city’s train station.

The people in the tow truck were identified as James Creel of Lake, Mississippi and Scott Hartsock of Florida.

Erica Gibbs, who is from Memphis, was on the train with her three children. She was on her way back home after a vacation to New Orleans.

“All of a sudden the brakes started screeching and then it looked like we were going to hit the car in front of us,” she said. “Because you could see it out the window. And then you felt like a jolt like I could tell we hit something...and then it was smoke.”

Gibbs said they waited on the train for hours before they were bussed back to Jackson. She says when they got back, they didn’t have a place to stay at first. But she says Amtrak eventually booked hotel rooms for people and she got to her room around 1:30 this morning.

We reached out to Amtrak to see if they will be taking passengers back to Memphis later Friday and if this crash will impact any other trips.

The company replied:

“On July 15, a vehicle obstructing the tracks in Jackson, MS came into contact with Amtrak City of New Orleans train 58 at approximately 5:33 pm CT. There were no injuries to the 142 passengers or crew members on board. Police are cooperating with local law enforcement to investigate the incident.

All individuals should exercise caution around railroad tracks and crossings. Amtrak continues to work closely with Operation Lifesaver (OLI) to communicate the dangers of grade crossings. Each year, about 2,000 people are killed or injured in grade crossing and trespassing incidents nationwide.”

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