Injured Amtrak Passenger - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/06/03

Injured Amtrak Passenger

Injured passenger Erwin. Injured passenger Erwin.

Twenty-three of the walking wounded from this morning's Amtrak crash near Hinesville were taken to the Liberty Regional Medical Center in Hinesville. This afternoon, they were all treated and released.

"It's the first time I ever rode and Amtrak in my life," said injured passenger Don Erwin of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. "I did it for an adventure."

It's been an adventure, but not the kind he was looking for. It started with a car wreck on his way to the train station, and just as he was beginning to unwind, he heard the sounds of his train wrecking.

"I flew back-first into the seat in front of me and onto the ground," he recalled. "I got up on my knees and was looking and saw gravel flying."

Erwin was assessed at the scene and sent to the hospital.

"I hurt my back pretty bad," he recalled. "They gave me about 20 X-rays."

Doctors gave him some pain medicine and sent him on his way to meet up with his luggage to take a bus home to Florida. Erwin is just now hoping that his wild ride is over.

"I'm glad I'm alive to talk about it," he said.

Headaches and sore backs seem to be the most common injuries patient complained of today. The most serious injuries seen today at Liberty Regional were those of the Amtrak employees who were standing up and moving around at the time of the wreck, but no injuries appear to be life-threatening.

Reported by: Holly Bristow, hbristow@wtoc.com

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