Amtrak Death Toll Hits 6

Truck drivers, train engineer watched tragedy unfold
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2011 2:04 PM CDT
Emergency crews work around two cars at the site of a collision between an Amtrak westbound train and a truck on June 24, 2011, 70 miles east of Reno, Nev.   (Liz Margerum - Reno Gazette Journal)
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(Newser) – The death toll from Friday's Amtrak accident is now at 6, and authorities say another 28 people are unaccounted for. But that may be because passengers left the scene without letting officials know, the AP reports. As the truck plowed into the train, two truck drivers watched helplessly from behind. The warning gates and lights were functioning, but for some reason the lead truck did not stop; authorities are still searching for clues as to why not. The semitrailer skidded 100 yards before plowing through the gates and into the train.

The truck driver and the train conductor are both among the dead; the train's assistant conductor was among the approximately 20 people injured. The train engineer also watched the accident unfold, slamming on the emergency brakes as he saw the truck and realized a collision was imminent. The train was traveling around 78mph at the time, and went another half mile before stopping. The engineer watched the impact through a rearview mirror.

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