2 hurt after Amtrak train hits vehicle in Orwood

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Thursday, August 20, 2015
2 injured in bizarre crash near Brentwood
Officials say two people were seriously injured following a bizarre crash involving an Amtrak train and a truck near Brentwood.

ORWOOD, Calif. (KGO) -- Two people were seriously injured when an Amtrak train struck a pickup truck outside of Brentwood and knocked it into the water Wednesday afternoon, according to Amtrak and fire officials.

Fire officials responded around 2:45 p.m. to a report of a collision between a train and vehicle near Orwood Road, according to the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District.

The sole occupant of the pickup truck was ejected from the truck into a nearby body of water, fire officials said.

The tracks pass over the Middle River near Orwood and Fallman roads, according to maps of the area.

The truck then landed on a 20-year-old woman who was on a raft in the water, according to fire officials.

The woman on the raft and the truck's occupant were both taken to John Muir Medical Center by helicopter with critical injuries, fire officials said. Both are expected to be OK.

A friend of the young woman struck by the truck says her condition is good, she's breathing, not in a coma and seems to be OK.

One witness said the driver of the truck went to a nearby boat launch, but didn't want to pay the $10 fee so moved his car to another location and tried to launch his boat there. In the course of doing this he left his truck parked on the tracks too long and that's when it was hit by the train.

Amtrak spokeswoman Vernae Graham said none of the crewmembers or 145 passengers aboard Amtrak No. 713 reported any injuries. The train originated in Bakersfield and was bound for Oakland, she said.

A passenger on the train, Russell Bierle, said he didn't feel the impact of the truck, but he did see it sinking slowly into a body of water adjacent to the train.

The tracks run through an area bisected by tributaries and canals. The train had just crossed over a bridge when it struck the vehicle, Bierle said.

He saw someone run to help a person in the truck and heard an announcement saying someone had been seriously injured.

Bay City News contributed to the story.