Michael Knight of the Department of Public Safety said the engineer attempted to blow its whistle as it approached the crossing, where an 18-wheeler transporting a car was on the tracks. The 44-year-old driver of the box truck was ejected and is in critical condition at Seton Williamson Hospital . His name has not been released. However, troopers did say he is from San Antonio.
"We were rolling and it was all smooth and out of nowhere it was just like pow and we all just kind of flew forward," explained passenger Bailey Roberts who saw the trucker thrown from the cab.
"I thought we hit a speed bump," said passenger Barrett Deming.
Amtrak spokesman Steve Kulm said the train was the Texas Eagle , en route from San Antonio to Chicago. A total of 211 passengers were on board the train, which was making its way from Austin to Dallas at the time of the accident. An additional 14 Amtrak employees were on board the train.
Two additional passengers on the train complained of minor injuries but refused treatment. DPS also reported a minor diesel fuel spill occurred when the 18-wheeler was hit.
"We didn't panic or go into disarray," said passenger Tabatha Tower. "Just the diesel fumes were a lot."
Passengers on the train were being evacuated, taken by five Hutto ISD school busses to Hutto Baptist Church . From there, Amtrak arranged for charter busses to take stranded passengers on to Dallas.
Local law enforcement will be conducting the investigation of the accident. The Federal Railroad Administration may or may not choose to initiate an investigation into the accident. Both Amtrak and Union Pacific, which owns the track, will be required to file paperwork with federal authorities.
"There is also video that Amtrak officials will retrieve and then I will be able to view that video and hopefully conclude the investigation," said Michael Knight, DPS trooper.
Amtrak has not set up a public phone number or website for updates on passengers on the Texas Eagle.
Those who may be meeting at train can go to Amtrak.com and type in the Texas Eagle, Train No. 22 on the status update page. That should give an arrival time at each station. If the train leaves the Fort Worth station at 7 p.m., as expected, the train will be about four hours behind schedule.
The train involved in the accident was towed to Taylor around 5 p.m.
This is the second accident for an Amtrak train in Texas this year. It is the 41st train-trailer accident that the Federal Railroad Administration has recorded this year.
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