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.