Winslow Women Saw Speeding Rescue Engine Minutes Before Crash

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WASHINGTON COUNTY [KFSM] - Investigators confirmed at a press conference Friday (Oct. 17) that the rescue engine that was coming to aid a stalled passenger train headed for Van Buren was going over the 25 mph speed limit. One Winslow resident said she saw the engine "flying" through downtown minutes before the collision.

"He was going faster than anything I've ever seen go through there and I've even driven down there to watch the trains with my great granddaughter, and you know they chug along...but he was really exceeding probably what he was supposed to be doing," Helen Cahill said.

Cahill has lived in Winslow for thirty years, and said she was down getting her hair down at the beauty parlor when she noticed the rescue engine. Cahill said she thought the engine was responding to an emergency, but said the locomotive was traveling "too fast for comfort."

Crews worked at the crash site off U.S. 71 Business for most of the morning and afternoon Friday. They were seen moving heavy equipment including bulldozers and tractors away from the accident site around 4 p.m.

Officials with the Arkansas Missouri railroad said all excursion rides are cancelled through Sunday (Oct. 19). They said they will be giving a full refund to all 1,000 passengers who had tickets this weekend.

2 comments

  • Honey Badger

    Of course he was speeding. He wanted to be the first one to the scene of the crash! H*ll, he beat the paramedics by thirty minutes!

  • E. D. Karper - a railroad engineer

    Honey Badger, you must be a Ron White fan , too;-)
    It gets to be funny that people all want to get their 15 minutes of fame for ANYTHING – true or not. The maximum authorized speed, according to the new sources, is 35 m.p.h. and he was doing 28 m.p.h. So, the “… she saw the engine “flying” through downtown minutes before the collision” and “He was going faster than anything I’ve ever seen go through there and I’ve even driven down there to watch the trains with my great granddaughter …” are either exaggerating for effect -or- really had a mis-understanding of speed comparisons. For the normal speed limit of 35 m.p.h., the rescue locomotives were UNDER the Maximum Authorized Speed. For the operating conditions – being in the same block as the train they are going to rescue – they were exceeding the 20 m.p.h. speed. Since people watching from along side the tracks have NO idea of the current, ever changing, operating conditions and the locomotives were BELOW the NORMAL operating speed, there is NO WAY a person along the side of the tracks could tell if they were ‘speeding’ or “… going faster than anything I’ve ever seen go through there …”.
    The news outlets LOVE people that are willing to make SENSATIONAL statements to give their ratings a boost. The people misstating the facts to get on the news and the news outlets DO NOT CARE if they are offering opinion, facts or outright falsehoods… just as long as the people get their 15 minutes and the the media gets it sensational story for their advertisers. As a great man once said, “My mind is made up; DON’T confuse me with the facts.”, which has become the de facto standard for the news media.

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