Twenty people were taken to hospitals with injuries after an Amtrak train bound for San Diego collided with a dump truck crossing tracks in this rural farm area. Eighteen of the train’s 168 passengers and crew members were taken to hospitals with minor injuries and only one passenger remained hospitalized following the crash Friday night in Ventura County, said Amtrak spokesman Vernae Graham.
Two people inside the truck also were hospitalized with serious injuries, but their conditions were not immediately known, said Joe Luna, spokesman for the Ventura County Fire Department.
The remaining passengers boarded another train bound for Los Angeles, Graham said. From there, she said, buses will drop off passengers at destinations between Los Angeles and San Diego.
Scores of emergency personnel rushed to the accident scene about 50 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles and set up a triage unit. Footage from television news helicopters showed firefighters treating some passengers from Amtrak’s Surfliner passenger train while a large number of uninjured milled around.
The speed limit in the area is 69 mph and the train, whose front car partly derailed following the crash, likely traveled at about that speed, Graham said. The Surfliner consists of several cars with an engine pushing from behind.
The train had left Santa Barbara around 7 p.m. Friday and was en route to Union Station in Los Angeles when the accident occurred in the largely rural farm area on the edge of the suburban cities of Moorpark and Simi Valley.
The cause of the crash, which occurred at 8:25 p.m., was not immediately known.
Early Saturday, Amtrak plans to combine two trains departing from the Santa Barbara-Ventura region into one train that would depart from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles, Graham said.