One person was killed and 23 were injured when a logging truck collided with a tourist train in rural West Virginia, officials said.
Investigators believe the driver of the logging truck failed to brake at a railroad crossing while driving north Friday on Route 250 in Cheat Bridge, West Va., about 160 miles east of Charleston.
The logging truck hit two of the passenger cars that are part of the Cheat Mountain Salamander, a train that offers tourists fall foliage excursions.
The driver of the logging truck was declared dead at the scene, said Randolph County Sheriff Mark Brady in a news conference Friday night. A recording of the press conference was provided to the Los Angeles Times.
None of the train’s 63 passengers or four crew members was killed, but 23 sustained injuries and seven were admitted to two area hospitals, Davis Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Tracy Fath told The Times. Five of those admitted to hospitals were in serious condition Saturday.
The collision – in a rural, isolated part of eastern West Virginia – required the mobilization and coordination of multiple local, state and federal agencies. Emergency crews from eight counties responded, and buses from the Elkins School District helped transport uninjured train passengers to the hospital, Fath said.
Investigators would not comment on the identity of the driver.
On Friday, the Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad, which operates the tourism train, released a statement saying that a nine-hour tour on the Cheat Mountain Salamander slated for Saturday was canceled. All other foliage tours on other routes would still operate this weekend, according to the statement.
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