The driver of a loaded log truck that collided today with a sightseeing train carrying 63 passengers and four crew members on a scenic leaf-peeping circuit in West Virginia's mountains was the lone fatality in an accident that injured 23 others, authorities said. At least six of the injured were hospitalized in serious condition after the accident, which came at the height of fall foliage season in the state's rugged Appalachian region about 160 miles east of Charleston, officials added.
Randolph County Sheriff Mark Brady said two of the train's passenger cars flipped on their sides after impact at a rail crossing with a mountain highway, the log truck was rendered a "total loss," and the truck driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver was not immediately identified, and news photographs from the scene at West Virginia's Cheat Mountain showed large, heavy logs jumbled beside the two toppled train cars. The accident occurred at a train crossing on US Route 250 at a bridge on the mountain. "It appears that the log truck had run through the crossing signals and struck the passenger cars of the train," Brady said.