At least four people were injured yesterday when an Amtrak train hit a tanker truck at a rural crossing near Eagle Lake, TX.
The eastbound Sunset Limited was traveling from Los Angeles to Orlando, FL, when it his the rig at around 11:45 a.m. Nine cars derailed. Preliminary reports indicated that none of the injuries appeared serious.
There were no warning lights or gates at the crossing, about 60 miles west of Houston. A spokesman for Union Pacific, which owns the track, noted that vehicles are legally required to yield the right-of-way to trains.
The train was carrying 235 passengers, among them Cindy McCain, wife of presidential candidate John McCain, and their 11-year-old son. Sen. McCain, head of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, held truck safety hearings in late April.
The accident was nowhere as severe as a March incident, where 11 people were killed when Amtrak's City of New Orleans ran into a flatbed truck at a crossing in Illinois. The truck driver and his company are being sued as a result of that incident.