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Thursday, July 9, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Train Plows Into Truck At 75 Mph, Injuring 15

Associated Press

An Amtrak train hit a tractor-trailer backing up over a railroad crossing Saturday morning, injuring 15 people aboard the train and spraying the rig’s cargo into the air.

The tractor-trailer driver was unhurt but his rig was destroyed, state police said. One crew member and 14 of the 205 Amtrak passengers were injured, mostly with bumps and bruises.

Police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said the rig’s driver, Gerald Sheets, was delivering parts of a loader to a rock quarry. The rig stopped on the tracks because of a locked private gate on the road on the opposite side of the tracks and was hit while backing up.

Sheets, 59, was charged with failure to yield.

Amtrak spokeswoman Dawn Soper said the train was traveling at 75 mph when the engineer spotted the vehicle half a mile away and started slowing down.

The train tracks had no warning lights or crossing bars.

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