An Amtrak train headed to Chicago was derailed this Wednesday morning. The train was heading westbound from Pontiac, Michigan, to Chicago when it hit a semi-trailer at 8:19 a.m. on Wednesday, February 1, 2012.
A statement was released from Amtrak saying, “The train made contact with a heavy vehicle in its path at a public highway crossing, causing the engine to come to rest on its side and the first two cars of the train to lose contact with the rails. At the time of the incident, the train was westbound from Pontiac, Mich., to Chicago with 71 passengers, five crew members and a train consisting of two locomotives and six railcars.”
The train that derailed was Amtrak Wolverine Service Train 351. No injuries have been reported, but emergency officials have transported the truck driver and six passengers to Allegiance Health hospital.
One passenger of the Amtrak train wrote on Facebook, “Wow! On my way to see my daughter and grandson on the amtrak and we hit a semi, derail, I almost break my spine. Now I’m in the hospital.”
Law enforcement was at the scene which included, Michigan State Police and Jackson County Sheriffs. Sergeant Richard White of the Blackman/Leoni Public Safety Department said, “All of the passengers have been bused away from the scene. Amtrak is on the scene assessing the situation.”
The truck driver told law enforcement officials that he was hauling a lowboy trailer and it was too low to make it across the tracks on North Portage Road near East Michigan Avenue in Leoni Township. That’s when the Amtrak train struck the semi-trailer and got derailed.
Amtrak suspended service in central Michigan for several hours and said it will offer refunds or re-bookings without fees for those affected. Any passenger who paid for travel but wants to change plans can receive a refund or rebook the ticket for the future. (Video Below)