Amtrak’s City of New Orleans passenger train plowed into a pickup truck on Thursday, killing all five people in the truck.
No one aboard the train was injured, Amtrak spokesman Rob Borella said from Washington. Killed in the pickup were the 54-year-old driver, Irma Brumfield, passenger Lawanda Patterson, and Patterson’s 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old twin sons.
“I don’t think she was trying to beat the train, I think she was just not paying attention and didn’t see it,” Police Chief Tim Gideon said of the driver.
Gideon said the train routinely travels at roughly 80 mph through the crossing, despite the city’s 35 mph speed limit for trains.
He said Amtrak has said federal regulations supersede local ordinances and allow the higher speeds.