MOORPARK, Calif. — An Amtrak train carrying nearly 200 passengers collided with a county tanker truck and derailed Wednesday in Southern California, seriously injuring the truck driver, authorities said.
Three of the train’s seven cars skidded off the tracks after the collision in Moorpark, Ventura County Fire Department Capt. Brian McGrath said. Derailed train cars remained upright on tracks adjacent to an orchard and sections of bare ground.
Fourteen people on the train were taken to hospitals with minor injuries, while the truck driver was taken to a trauma center with a head injury, McGrath said.
Parts of the demolished Ventura County Public Works truck were strewn around the derailed train cars. McGrath initially said the truck driver was believed to have exited the vehicle prior to the accident, but later clarified that the circumstances leading up to the accident were unknown.
«No one has spoken to him, so the whole situation is still being investigated,» he said.
Mindy Faver was sitting facing the back of the train after a trip with her mother, Shari Peterson, who was returning from visiting family in Oregon.
«Suddenly: Smack!» Faver said, describing the impact. Faver then saw what he later discovered was the tank of the water truck passing his window.
Most of the passengers were able to get out of the train cars on their own or with the help of lifeguards, McGrath said. Television news helicopters showed numerous people, many with luggage, circling a field as firefighters worked the scene.
“It could have been a lot worse,” Faver told the Ventura County Star.