SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

October 12, 2013

Truck, train collide in West Virginia leaving 1 dead, 2 dozen hurt

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A logging truck collided yesterday with a train carrying passengers on a scenic tour amid peak fall foliage season in the West Virginia mountains, killing one person and injuring 24 people Friday, authorities said. Two of the rail cars turned on their sides.

A preliminary toll of more than 60 hurt tallied initially by authorities was subsequently revised downward by a hospital official, Tracy Fath. She told The Associated Press yesterday evening that dozens brought to a hospital by a school bus were subsequently determined to be unhurt — despite an earlier account from an emergency official who said dozens on the bus had lesser injuries.

“We’ve got 24 people who were treated” in the emergency room, Fath said by telephone from Davis Memorial Hospital in Elkins. She added that of the 24 treated, three were admitted to the hospital, two in serious condition and one in stable condition.

She said she couldn’t release details of the injuries or the identities of those hurt.

She said the worst injuries were brought in by ambulance and the 39 others counted by the hospital who were brought on a bus didn’t require medical care. “We gave them comfort care, sat them down ... made them comfortable,” she said of those merely shaken.

The cause of the accident between the truck and the Durbin & Greenbrier Railroad train on an excursion at the height of autumn leaf-watching season in the state’s mountainous eastern region wasn’t immediately known.

Two rail passenger cars overturned in the accident at 1:30 p.m. Friday along U.S. Route 250 about 160 miles east of Charleston at Cheat Mountain, said emergency services director Shawn Dunbrack of Pocahontas County.

News photographs showed first responders beside the highway aiding the injured, the scenic route threading woods splashed with brilliant red and yellow foliage. Emergency vehicles lined the shoulders of the route.

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