Amtrak train strikes dump truck stalled out on tracks in West Virginia, causes fuel leak

Amtrak train hits dump truck stalled out on tracks in West Virginia. (Photo: Heather Graf, ABC7)

On Monday night, for the second time in just over a month, the DC to Chicago overnight train hit a truck that got stuck on the tracks.

The most recent incident happened outside Ranson, West Virginia.

An Amtrak spokesperson said the collision took place around 5:35 p.m.

That’s when a dump truck somehow stalled out on the tracks at Charles Town Road and Luther Jones Road in Jefferson County. The oncoming train just didn’t have time to stop.

An Amtrak spokesperson said there were no injuries to the approximately 108 passengers and crew members onboard. The truck driver also was not hurt.

He was able to jump from the cab of his truck just moments before the train hit it and split the vehicle right in half. Witnesses said the truck driver was shaken up, but otherwise OK.

“You heard the brakes pull, there was a loud screech, and then the train slowly came to a stop,” Amtrak passenger Michael Malloy said. “Then probably five minutes later, over the intercom we heard the train was going to be stopped.”

Malloy said he couldn’t see the mangled truck from where he was seated on the train, and was worried someone may have been seriously hurt.

“Then we started seeing ambulances go by and we were like, did someone get injured or something?,” he said. “I’m just really glad the guy in the truck was able to get out before the train hit him. That would’ve been a real disaster.”

The train was stopped for nearly four hours while Amtrak crews and emergency responders were on the scene.

“We got an announcement that they would be swapping out the engine and allowing us to continue on to Chicago,” Malloy said.

By about 9:30 p.m., the train had resumed its journey.

Jefferson County authorities said the train was also briefly leaking fuel as a result of the collision. Fortunately, they were able to contain the fuel spill and get it cleaned up fairly quickly.

In early November, a similar crash took place on the exact same route. The Capitol Limited from DC to Chicago hit a ‘Paranormal Cirque’ semi truck that was stuck on the tracks in Gaithersburg. No one was hurt in that incident either.

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