Archive for Thursday, December 1, 2005

Cattle truck hits train tracks, delaying Amtrak

December 1, 2005

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— A cattle truck plowed into railroad tracks outside Dodge City early Wednesday, causing a major delay for a westbound Amtrak train and temporarily trapping dozens of cows inside a container, the Kansas Highway Patrol said.

The truck, which was hauling a trailer from Iowa filled with cattle destined for a Kansas feed yard, ran onto the tracks about 6:20 a.m., said KHP spokesman Lt. John Eichkorn.

Troopers said the driver lost control after rounding a curve in Highway 50 about one mile west of Dodge City, and landed the tractor squarely on top of the tracks. The impact was enough to damage the tracks and short out their current, which prevented the Amtrak's Southwest Chief from advancing any farther, said Marc Magliari, a Chicago-based spokesman for Amtrak.

The passenger train was delayed for five hours and 17 minutes as emergency medical workers tended to the injured truck driver. A feed-yard operator removed the cows from the truck, authorities and Amtrak officials said.

"I got there before the sun came up, and they were trying to set up portable pens to make a corridor from one tractor to another," said Patrol Capt. David Ploutz.

Ploutz said an ambulance took the injured driver to West Plains Regional Hospital. The cattle were delivered to the Ingalls Feedyard, west of Dodge City.

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