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Amtrak Train Strikes Truck, Derails in University Park; Truck's Driver Dies

CHICAGO (CBS)-- An Amtrak train struck a box truck and derailed in south suburban University Park around 5 p.m. Sunday.

train derails
Credit: Rebecca Pangburn

The driver of the truck died, according to officials. Two passengers on Amtrak Train 393 were transported to Olympia Fields Hospital with minor injuries.

"I don't think there was anything left of that truck, to be honest," said passenger Stephen Andres. "Thoughts and prayers to to the family."

The incident, occurring at University Parkway and Governors Highway, derailed one locomotive and five passenger cars.

"All of a sudden, there was a big bang. We just started wobbling. It just kind of twisted me over," said Andres. "It was chaos after that until we finally stopped."

The train was traveling at 70 mph when it struck the truck, according to Deputy Chief Shawn Richards of the University Park Fire Department. Officials said the truck was on the tracks south of the University Park Metra station.

Nearly 300 passengers were aboard the train, headed to Carbondale from Chicago. Amtrak spokesperson Marc Magliari said a charter bus is set to arrive by 10 p.m. to deliver the passengers to their destination.

The railroad is closed while crews work to clear equipment and make repairs. Train 59 to New Orleans has been canceled along with two trains that were scheduled to depart to Carbondale tomorrow.

Local police are investigating the cause of the incident.

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