Conductor Jumped From Rescue Engine Before It Slammed Head-On Into Excursion Train

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -The conductor on an Arkansas & Missouri rescue engine going to assist a stalled excursion train last month in Brentwood jumped from the locomotive just before it slammed head-on into the disabled train, according to a preliminary federal report on Tuesday (Nov. 4).

Thirty-nine passengers and four crew members on the A&M fall excursion train were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries in the Oct. 16 crash, according to the report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

The conductor who jumped from the rescue engine was hospitalized with back and ankle injuries, the report states. The engineer, who did not jump from the rescue engine, received minor injuries, according to the report.

The conductor and engineer are not named in the report.

Federal officials have said the final report on the crash might not be complete until next year.

NTSB investigators released some initial findings last month, saying the engine sent to rescue the excursion passenger train that stalled on the tracks was traveling at 25 miles per hour at the time it struck the excursion train. NTSB member Mark Rosekind said the brakes were applied at 28 miles per hour prior to the collision. The train should have been traveling at a safe limit of 20 miles per hour or lower, he said.

The speed limit along the track is 35 miles per hour.The excursion train had stalled possibly because oil from leaves on the track caused it to lose traction, and the second train was sent to assist the excursion train. The approaching rescue train did not stop in time, though, and struck the excursion train, Rosekind said. Rosekind said the train collision happened in an area known as a “dark territory,” where communication becomes difficult for locomotives.

Click here to view the full report.

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