Amtrak Accident Update - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/07/03

Amtrak Accident Update

CSX crews worked though the night to clean up after a deadly accident between a truck and a train outside Hinesville. It happened around 7:20am yesterday on a small road near the intersection of US Highway 84 and Georgia Route 196 East about halfway between Flemington and Midway in Liberty County.

The truck, carrying lumber and a forklift, tried to cross the railroad tracks when it pulled in front of an Amtrak passenger train. Traveling from New York to Miami, the train was carrying about 150 people on board. Ten cars of the train derailed, pulling the tracks up in the process.

The crash killed the truck driver, 41-year-old Boyd James Van Horn of Richmond Hill, and seriously injured the train engineer, 53-year-old Larry Edenfield of Florida. In addition to the engineer, four crew members and 22 passengers were injured.

Medical crews across the Coastal Empire worked through the day to help the injured passengers and crew. Edenfield was taken by LifeStar to Memorial Health in Savannah, where according to an Amtrak spokesman, he's in serious condition. Two passengers are being treated at Winn Army Medical Hospital and one other passenger was taken to Saint Joseph's. All three are considered to have non-life-threatening injuries.

The rest of the injured were taken to Liberty Regional Medical Center. Most had bumps and bruises, headaches and back pain. In all, 23 passengers and crew were treated and released from Liberty Regional. They were then loaded everyone on buses headed toward their next destinations.

Cleanup at the site began almost immediately, as crews moved in to get the train cars out of the way so the damaged tracks could be removed. CSX crews worked throughout the night, hoping to have the tracks repaired by this morning. That wreck has shut down Amtrak service between Jacksonville and Savannah.

All trains going south will continue to stop in Savannah, and all trains going north will stop in Jacksonville. Amtrak will provide bus transportation between the two cities. If you need information you can call  800.872.7245.

WTOC staff report

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