This morning at about 11:00 am Amtrak's Downeaster, which runs multiple times daily between Boston and Portland, was traveling at a smooth 70mph when it collided with a tractor-trailer at an at-grade crossing on Route 4 in North Berwick Maine. The crash left the driver of the tractor-trailer dead, a half dozen train passengers injured, and a locomotive scorched.
|Downeaster Loco #821 at North Station|
|Loco after crash can't even tell this is part of Amtrak fleet|
A few witnesses did reported that the flashing lights and crossing gates at the grade crossing on Route 4 were working at the time of the crash but the tractor trailer did not stop on time. According to Maine officials there were about 200 feet of skid marks leading up to the crossing and one of the gates was clipped by the trailer. The driver of the tractor-trailer was Peter Barnum, 35, of Farmington, NH, and he was driving for Triumvirate Environmental. His trailer was full of trash that was being brought to the incinerator in Biddeford Maine.
|The passenger coach|
This accident comes at a time when both companies have already seen their share recent of incidences. Triumvirate which operates out of Somerville MA had a recent incident when one of their drivers had a heart attack while driving his tractor-trailor and killed four people. Amtrak had to deal with a similar incident last month when a driver of a semi-trailer drove into the side of a passenger train in Nevada killing six people. Amtrak is currently suing that trucking company.
Amtrak officials have assured passengers that train travel is still extremely safe. The Downeaster is expected to continue it regularly scheduled departures starting tonight when its 11:20 p.m. train departs north station. No delays are expected for tomorrows morning rush.