Skip to comments.Feds Probe Truck Driver Killed In Bay Area-Bound Amtrak Crash (5 dead, 20 injured)
Posted on 06/25/2011 9:41:27 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
RENO, Nev. (CBS/AP) Authorities plan to look into the driving and medical records of the semitrailer driver who died when the truck slammed into an Amtrak train, killing a train crew member and injuring dozens of passengers.
Peter Knudson, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, said they also will look at autopsy results to determine whether the driver had consumed any drugs around the time of the collision Friday.
The big rig plowed into the California-bound train at a crossing in a rural area about 70 miles east of Reno. Knudson said federal investigators would make sure that railroad lights and crossing gates were working at the time.
Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Dan Lopez said the gates and warning lights were working. Witnesses told authorities that the truck didnt seem to attempt to stop at the crossing when it crashed through the gate. The driver was the sole occupant of the semi, which was hauling two empty gravel trailers.
About 20 people aboard the train were taken to hospitals in Reno and Fallon, but Lopez didnt know the extent of their injuries. Dan Davis, spokesman for Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, said two people were in critical condition, four were in serious condition and three were in fair condition.
(Excerpt) Read more at sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com ...
What had Osama been scribbling about going after?
5 die, many hurt as semi hits Bay Area-bound train
Jaxon Van Derbeken, Kevin Fagan,Will Kane, Chronicle Staff Writers
Saturday, June 25, 2011
LOVELOCK, NEV. — Federal transportation safety officials said numerous bodies remained onboard a Chicago-to-Emeryville Amtrak train in the Nevada desert after a gravel-hauling tractor-trailer rig slammed into it east of Reno at midday Friday.
The rig’s driver and a train conductor were among the five confirmed dead as of late Friday. Scores of victims were sent to hospitals with injuries, while as many as 45 remained unaccounted for, federal officials said.
Has the driver’s name been released? Was the truck possibly stolen?
The double trailer rig was empty.
Had it been carrying a load..
It would have been a lot bigger mess
and taken a lot larger toll.
Sounds a bit like the plot from “Super 8”. By any chance was the train carrying cargo for the Air Force?
snip from SFgate/Chronicle piece
The fiery collision happened on a lonely, windswept section of Highway 95 in the area of Lovelock, about 70 miles from Reno, at 11:24 a.m. Smoke from three burning cars on the 10-car train - which had 195 passengers onboard, according to state officials - could be seen for miles around. Confirmed dead were the truck driver - who is from a small county in eastern Nevada - a train conductor and at least three passengers.
As far as I can tell, no, and I do find that unusual.
I read the entire story,no mention of the driver’s name.Another Muslum perhaps?
“Another Muslum perhaps?”
My first thought, as well.
If a Muzzie wait for the isolated incident, not terrorist related statement to come out.
Heart attack or a Muzzie would be my first thoughts.
More likely he was here illegally
No. Passengers and crew only, 10-car train.
(but who ever knows what is on a train or a bus these days?
There aren’t a whole lot of ROP types in small eastern Nevada counties. Suicide or drugs??
I suspected that it was a Muslim, too, although maybe it was just somebody doing the spectacular suicide where you try to take out as many other people as you can. I think that happened in California a few years ago, although the would-be suicide survived and was charged with homicide, IIRC.
On the other hand, I guess there's no reason there couldn't be Muslims living in eastern Nevada. I don't know the area.
I do know the area. The chances that a Muslim, other than a white convert, could live unnoticed in Elko, White Pine, or Lincoln counties isn’t a possibility on which I would bet money.
An illegal alien, on the other hand.... that I could see.
Smoke from three burning cars on the 10-car train -...- could be seen for miles around. Confirmed dead were the truck driver - who is from a small county in eastern Nevada -
This does bring up questions: Why such a fire?
1. I suppose the truck diesel tank could have become detached and a couple hundres gallons od diesel fuel spilled out and ignited.
2. There are no “small counties in Eastern Nevada. Smallest would be Clark county which has Vegas in it. In other words the truck driver could be from Las Vegas. Just wondering why the article would be worded like this.
Gravel truck. Construction material drivers get paid by the load and do tend to drive real fast.
This isn’t your typical crossing accident, the truck “slammed in to” the train as it was already on the crossing.
“...the truck slammed in to the train...”
Yes, hubby said it went into the 4th car. It seems to me like you’d have time to turn aside at least even if you couldn’t stop.
Either it was deliberate or the guy was incapacitated.
I have seen an accident where the vehicle slammed into a train. The train in this case was a light rail in Minneapolis. At this particular crossing (26th Street), the trains are going about 50 mph. The driver of the vehicle (in his late 60’s early 70’s) blew right through the crossing gate and slammed into the side of the train. The car bounced off the side, bentthe front axle. I had asked the driver if he was OK, and I get the “mind your own business”. No, not a Somali, just another lilly white Minnestoopidan liberal. Dude drives off. He was lucky, if it was a split second sooner the train would have plowed right into the car and killed him and his wife.
I live out here. I can say with confidence that it was not a Muslim or an illegal. This was a local driver, and I guessing there was some kind of medical issue. You can see the tracks for miles in both directions. It would be almost impossible not to see this train coming.
Article said it was not a local driver.
I doubt it. My boy is a RR engineer and when he was working up in Idaho, had some Gomer in a truck full of sugar beets try to beat the train. He failed.
My boy said beets hit the windshield like incoming artillery and the engineer (my boy was a conductor on that run) said "OMiGawd, I've killed him." My boy said, "No you didn't, he's over there." and pointed out the left hand window. The truck was hit just abaft of the cab, which swung around from the impact and put the driver alongside the engine. The driver was looking at the engineer with "eyes as big as dinner plates."
It seems the beet company was hiring unqualified drivers (i.e. cheap labor) and this guy didn't have a trucker's license. Maybe the same thing here. Like "Friendly Fire", "cheap labor" - isn't.
The person who was operating the truck may not be the person who WAS supposed to be operating the truck.
Trucks get stolen all the time.
‘broad-siding’ a train in the middle of nowhere is odd.
I agree, I live in rural California spitting distance from the border with rural Nevada and the only Muslims I have ever seen are on TV or in the movies.
— snip from Reuters/Yahoo
Death toll expected to rise in Amtrak collision
DRIVER TRIED TO STOP
Lopez said National Transportation Safety Board officials, who took over the investigation on Saturday, were trying to determine why the truck driver barreled through closed signal arms before smashing into the side of the train.
He said skid marks indicated that the driver had tried to stop in the seconds before impact.
The fiery crash sent a plume of black smoke billowing into the air over the scene.
“The truck did in fact strike the train at the fourth car and according to witness statements the gates and lights were operational,” Lopez said.
The injured were taken to local hospitals.
maybe he was texting?
You don’t expect to run into a train in the middle of a desert, maybe he was new to area..
Trying to get it to jackknife?
I haven’t seen any overhead shots.. it was still gonna be a wreck if he tried to jackknifed it. just maybe not this bad..
empty gravel/bulk haulers would likely whip around if ya got the front end sliding around
sounds like no time to react. per article , he hit brakes at 320 feet out.. If he’s boogeying,,
Sfgate update today
a few more details..
6 killed in Amtrak train crash, 28 unaccounted for
Skid marks show the lead driver, who died in the crash and authorities have refused to identify, applied the brakes beginning at about 320 feet from the crossing but was unable to stop in time, officials said.
But more than a day after the rig, owned by John Davies Trucking of Battle Mountain, Nev., slammed into the train, little information was available about who was killed and who was missing in the collision.
Mystifying. Still no information on the driver’s identity?
That’s not good and it does immediately make me suspect that there’s something they don’t want us to know. I think if it were just Mr. Average White Guy Trucker who nodded off at the wheel and woke up too late to do anything about it, we’d have heard that by now.
Looking at the photos, the place is an absolute flat-as-a-pancake stretch of land for many, many miles and the driver would certainly have seen the train coming. And while it’s possible to nod off at 11:00 a.m., normally most drivers, especially those with empty trailers going to pick up something, are in pretty good shape at that time of day.
My speculation is either that the truck was stolen and they actually can’t identify the driver (maybe it was the truck that was from “a small county in eastern Nevada,” as they said, and not the driver) or that there’s something inconvenient about him (namely, that he’s a foreign-born Muslim or a Muslim convert).
In that case, he might have tried to break because he was afraid he had miscalculated and would actually get across the tracks before the train arrived at that point.
In any case, please post if you find out anything more. It’s always possible that it was just a horrible accident, but they’re being so secretive about it that one wonders.
An hour later, I just checked, and still no ID released for the driver.
Seems like Americans aren’t worthy of being kept informed on what’s going on in the nation.
Very strange. When they proclaimed yesterday that there were skid marks, indicating that he had tried to brake, I thought they were adopting a very defensive tone. When they start making apologies for somebody right off the bat, there’s usually a Muslim involved.
But maybe I’m just getting cynical.
A three truck convoy - the back two trucks apparently saw the crossing was closed, the first did not.
It probably was an accident then, if there were three trucks. It’s hard to imagine how the driver could miss seeing the train and the gates, but at a high speed for both vehicles, there probably wouldn’t have been much time.
No issues with the crossing itself. As well marked as any and all lights, bells, gates working
No known issues with the train
Trucking company had 7 violations in 19 random inspections in the past year.
Driver was in mid-40’s and was a local - name still not released.
Have not yet determined if driver had a cell phone and if so, if it was being used at time of crash
Will not have toxicology tests back for many weeks
5 people still unaccounted for.
Thanks for the update. It’s odd that they’re not releasing the driver’s name, but it does seem to have been an accident.
Still no ID released for the driver. If the driver’s been reduced to cinders, I can see why they’d have a hard time confirming ID. Wonder if that’s the reason, or the only reason, for the delay...?
More questions than answers in truck-train crash
end of article snip..
.. the truck was leading a three-truck convoy from the Battle Mountain trucking company. The two other drivers told investigators they saw the train coming and wondered why the lead driver wasn’t stopping.
The driver finally slammed on his brakes, leaving a 320-foot skid mark on northbound U.S. 95, Weener said. The grade crossing is protected by signs as far back as 900 feet, and by flashing lights and gates that activate 25 seconds before a train reaches the crossing.
Traveling at 70 mph, the truck would have been about half a mile from the intersection when the lights began flashing, Weener said. Widely used stopping-distance estimates indicate that a truck traveling at 70 mph needs 465 feet to stop.
and from SFGate.com
Train-crash trucker had string of traffic tickets
The big-rig driver who slammed into an Amtrak train in Nevada, killing himself and at least five people aboard the train, was identified today as 43-year-old man who had been licensed to drive trucks in Nevada for only a month and had accumulated numerous traffic citations in California.
Lawrence Valli of Winnemucca, Nev., was killed when he slammed his 2008 Peterbilt truck into the side of the California Zephyr at a remote rail crossing on U.S. Highway 95, about 70 miles east of Reno, shortly before 11:30 a.m. Friday. Valli, pulling a pair of empty gravel trailers, applied his brakes moments before the crash but was unable to stop in time, investigators said.
Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board said the gates and warning lights were working at the crossing, and that Valli should have been able to spot them from a mile away.
Records show that Valli received his license to drive big rigs in Nevada in May 2011, and that in 2008 and 2009 he was driving a school bus in California - where he received four traffic citations in a three-month period.
end of piece..
A similar crash occurred at the same rail crossing in September, when a truck driver narrowly missed ramming an Amtrak train. The truck driver in that incident told The Chronicle on Sunday that he was blinded by the early-morning sun and didn’t see the train approaching.
He noted that the highway and tracks are not perpendicular but instead meet at an unusual, 45-degree angle.
Just released -
Thanks! This guy had been licensed to drive these trucks for only 1 month - and he had a bunch of violations from his former job as a school bus driver. Terrible.