Just after 10:30pm Monday night of this week, a Chicago bound Amtrak passenger train hit a milk truck along WCR 63 near WCR 398, east of Keensburg. According to the Colorado State Patrol the NB truck, which was carrying 10,000 gallons of milk for the Dairy Farmers of America, drove through a STOP sign and was crossing the tracks when it was hit by the EB train. The impact caused the trailer to break into multiple pieces, as the Amtrak train’s locomotive car ended up on its side after the derailment.
Earlier reports indicated that there were only minor injuries associated with this crash. Now, according to the CSP, a 42 year-old train engineer from Park City, Utah has life-threatening injuries as a result of the incident, and was airlifted from the scene to Intermountain Health Good Samaritan Hospital in Lafayette. There were 3 other people that were injured in the crash, and were all taken to Platte Valley Hospital in Brighton, with minor injuries.
The investigation continues, but the CSP has said that the 31 year-old driver of the milk truck is at fault, and charges are pending. The driver is from Alaska, and was not injured in the wreck. Folks that live in Keensburg say that coal trains are common going through town, but passenger trains are rare.
As of this time all Amtrak trains heading east are being stopped in Denver, and all trains going west have to wait in Lincoln, Nebraska, with no estimated time as to when travel will be back to normal for train travel. A lot of train passengers had their trips cancelled and need to find alternate options.
The Federal Railroad Administration will try to complete the investigation within 6 months. Dairy Farmers of America has a family farm network with many locations in Colorado, and owns the milk truck, issued a statement saying that they are cooperating with authorities, and that safety is a priority.
The tracks are owned by Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which will be responsible for the clean up and repairs of the tracks, once the train cars have been cleared from the scene.
The train tracks have been reopened in Keensburg, as reports are that the 'California Zephyr' Amtrak train, that was held in Denver overnight, left Denver's Union Station this morning around 7:10am, and is running on time. Many coal trains have been seen running on the train tracks in Keensburg this morning as well.