Between 30 and 50 people were injured when a big rig hauling cotton trash crashed into an Amtrak passenger train just south of the Central Valley city of Hanford. One car was pushed on its side and two other cars were pushed to a 45-degree angle.
Kings County Assistant Sheriff Dave Putnam says the crash occurred when the driver of the big rig failed to yield at a gated crossing and hit the train, pushing at least one passenger car off the tracks south of Hanford.
He described the injuries as bumps, bruises, scrapes and possibly broken bones.
Bertha Yanez was one of the passengers on the train. She says the force of the crash knocked out the windows and sent debris from the truck flying into the train.
"My partner was sitting near the window and as the window popped out, it fell over on her, she fell over on me. And fortunately there was all the padding from all the stuff that had come in through the windows was in the aisles," she said. "And I fell, and there was not a seat across from me. There was like an empty spot so I didn’t hit my head or anything."
Amtrak says the train carrying about 169 passengers and four crew members was on its way from Oakland to Bakersfield.
Authorities say the truck failed to yield and went into the side of the train.
The California Highway Patrol says the truck driver suffered minor injuries.
Helicopters took more than a dozen people to local hospitals. Their injuries were minor to moderate.
The passengers were taken to an auditorium in Hanford, where they will board a train and continue to their destinations or family members will pick them up.