Horror Amtrak Collision in South Carolina Leaves 2 Dead, 70+ Injured

Horror Amtrak Collision in South Carolina Leaves 2 Dead, 70+ Injured

A deadly crash took place early Sunday morning just outside of Columbia, South Carolina, as an Amtrak train collided with a freight train, leaving 2 people dead and more than 70 injured, some of them in serious condition. The 2 casualties were discovered in the Amtrak train, while injuries range from minor flesh wounds and cuts to broken bones. As per Amtrak’s official statement:

 “Amtrak Train 91, operating between New York and Miami, came in contact with a CSX freight train at around 2:35 am in Cayce, South Carolina. The lead engine derailed, as well as some passenger cars. There were 8 crew members and approximately 139 passengers, with injuries reported. Local authorities are on the scene responding. More information will be provided as available.”

The South Carolina train collision on Sunday morning makes for the third fatal Amtrak crash in 49 days. Last Wednesday, an Amtrak train carrying Congressional GOP members to a retreat hit a truck and the driver of the truck was killed; 49 days ago, Amtrak’s Cascades train went off the rails in Washington State, killing 3 and injuring 62. The cause of the accident was due to excessive speed as the train was entering a curve. The Virginia incident was due to a garbage truck getting hit by a train while on a grade crossing, as the barrier malfunctioned. Today’s crash was pretty stupid considering how technologically advanced we are in 2018, i.e it was due to 2 trains being placed on the same track.

Passenger rail died when “The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, popularly known as the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act (Public Law 84-627), was enacted on June 29, 1956, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill into law. With an original authorization of US$25 billion for the construction of 41,000 miles (66,000 km) of the Interstate Highway System supposedly over a 10-year period, it was the largest public works project in American history through that time.” (from Wikipedia).

With the introduction of the Interstate Highway System, any possibility of a national rail system, like Europe has, was squashed. The Highway system favored cars over rail, and cars polluted more than rail did at that time due to leaded gasoline and no laws requiring pollution control devices. Cars contributed to the huge amount of pollution that then had to be addressed in the 1960s. If that Highway law hadn’t been enacted, and if, instead, rail service was promoted over cars, we’d see a national rail system somewhat like what Europe has, and maybe our pollution levels in the 1960s would not have been so severe. This is all conjecture, of course.

Photo Credit: Tim Dominick/The State via AP