A driver survived an Amtrak crash after he drove around crossing gate in rural Virginia. Authorities said the man’s vehicle was destroyed, but his injuries are not life threatening. Untron Drew is currently being treated at the Virginia Commonwealth University Hospital.
Sargent Michelle Anaya, a spokeswoman with the Virginia State Police, said Drew was at fault in the crash. Authorities determined the crossing gates and warning lights were fully functional at the time of the accident. Drew reportedly ignored the signals and attempted to bypass the crossing gates.
Drew’s vehicle ended up in the path of an Amtrak train, which was traveling to Boston. The train slammed into the 2000 Ford Crown Victoria at approximately 80 mph. The train pushed the vehicle around 30 yards, but it did not derail.
Authorities said the car was completely destroyed in the Amtrak crash. However, the train and 46 passengers were unharmed. Drew was taken by helicopter to the hospital with non-critical injuries.
Sargent Anaya said the vehicle was a used police car, which was sold at auction. It is possible that the vehicle’s size and construction saved the man’s life.
As reported by WTVR News, the Sargent said alcohol was a factor in the incident, but she did not elaborate on the details.
Following the crash, Northeast Regional train 174 left the scene and is fully functional. Although it is mechanically sound, the train was delayed approximately two hours.
Drew is not the first man to survive an Amtrak collision. In August, 22-year-old Darryle See was struck by a train while jogging. The train was traveling more than 100 mph. ABC News reports that authorities found See fully conscious with only minor injuries. Major John Boyd, spokesman for the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office, said he “expected to find human remains.” He was stunned to find the man “sitting up, conscious, and alert.”
Surviving an Amtrak crash is quite rare. Authorities warn drivers to obey warning signals. Those walking near tracks should maintain a safe distance and be alert to their surroundings.
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