Authorities: 1 killed in collision of 2 trains in Arizona
TRUXTON, Ariz. (AP) — One person was killed and another injured after a BNSF Railway train and a train pushing maintenance equipment collided on the freight railroad’s tracks in a remote area of northwestern Arizona, authorities said Wednesday.
The wreck occurred Tuesday afternoon near Truxton, Arizona, a small community 103 miles (166 kilometers) west of Flagstaff, according to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s officials said the dead man and injured man both were employees of Herzog Railroad Services.
Walter Erickson, 63, of Lenexa, Kansas, was pronounced dead at the scene while Matthew Thompson, 26, of Salem, Missouri was airlifted to a Nevada hospital with serious injuries but was listed in stable condition, according to sheriff’s officials.
They said all occupants of the BNSF train were accounted for and no other injuries were reported.
An after-hours call to St. Joseph, Missouri-based Herzog for comment on the crash wasn’t immediately returned Wednesday evening.
BNSF spokeswoman Lena Kent said the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash, which left the BNSF freight train with significant front-end damage and derailed several cars on the Herzog train.
Mohave County Sheriff Doug Schuster said his office would be conducting its own independent investigation into the fatal crash.
The wreck and the closing of BNSF’s double-track southern main line in that area forced Amtrak to use charter buses to carry train passengers between Flagstaff and Los Angeles. Amtrak’s passenger trains use freight railroad tracks in most parts of the United States.
Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the busing of passengers on the passenger railroad’s Southwest Chief route between Chicago and Los Angeles would continue until BNSF reopened its tracks at the wreck site.