16 hurt as Amtrak train rams truck in Moorpark, derails; truck driver critically injured

Share via

An Amtrak train bound for Washington state and carrying about 200 passengers derailed Wednesday in Moorpark after ramming into a truck and causing “severe damage” to the train, fire officials said.

The crash of the seven-car Coast Starlight train heading from Los Angeles to Seattle occurred at 11:19 a.m. near Los Angeles Avenue and Gabbert Road in Ventura County and sparked a fire in the train’s baggage car, according to fire radio calls.

Amtrak Train 14, which was carrying 198 passengers and 13 employees, struck a Ventura County public works tanker truck that was “obstructing the tracks,” Amtrak officials said. Fire officials had said earlier that 173 passengers were on board and that the tanker truck was transporting water to local ranches.


Sixteen people were taken to hospitals, including the truck driver, who was sent to a trauma center, Ventura County Fire Department officials said.

The driver was in critical condition as of Wednesday evening, officials said.

The 15 other victims have minor injuries, fire officials said.

Some of the train cars were leaning at awkward angles against a hillside, video of the incident showed. Officials said the fact that the cars remained upright probably prevented serious injuries.

A mangled part of the yellow truck rested on the tracks where the train had come to a stop. Other parts of the truck were scattered throughout the area.

Passengers were given water and snacks while they sheltered under tents before being bused to Moorpark Active Adult Center for family reunification. A hotline for families was set up at (805) 465-6650.

The train, with 85 onboard, was traveling from Stockton to Martinez when it struck a car on the tracks, killing three people inside.

June 27, 2022

“You could feel the train shaking,” Cesar Aguilar, a passenger who was headed to Salem, Ore., said while standing along the tracks outside the train. “We were shaking quite a bit. ... A lot of smoke came into the cabin.”

There was at least “one injured crew member and severe damage to the train,” a woman said over the fire radio.


Amtrak said in a statement that it was coordinating with local authorities to conduct an investigation into the crash and derailment, and working with customers to make alternative travel arrangements.

A crew member who did not want to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media said he was in one of the cars that derailed. He said he felt the train’s emergency brakes engage, jerking him forward, before he felt the impact.

It was like being rear-ended in a car, he said. When the train derailed, he felt a “sensation of falling.”

The crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.