10:06am: Talkline with Hoppy Kercheval

1 dead, dozens injured as truck slams into train

CHEAT MOUNTAIN, W.Va. — A logging truck driver is dead and dozens more are injured following an accident on Cheat Mountain Friday afternoon involving a logging truck and a train.

It happened around 2 p.m. at a crossing on Route 250 near the Randolph County and Pocahontas County line.  Route 250 was reopened Saturday night.

“The first call came in to the Pocahontas County 911 at 1:26 p.m. and it was the conductor calling 911, the conductor of the train,” said Lawrence Messina, spokesman for the state Dept. of Military Affairs and Public Safety.

Randolph County Office of Emergency Services Director Jim Wise said “somewhere between 50 to 60 people are slightly injured to injured and three are critical.”

Messina said Friday night that 62 people had been transported to Davis Memorial Hospital in Elkins after the train crash, three of them with critical injuries, according to hospital records.

“Davis reports that 43 people were taken to that hospital by bus, of those four were treated,” he said. “Another 19 were taken to Davis by ambulance, so we have totals of 23 people treated and 39 people who declined initial screening.”

On Friday evening, state officials confirmed the person who was killed was driving the truck that slammed into the side of the train as it crossed Route 250. The driver was identified Saturday as Danny Lee Kimble Sr. of Frank.

State Department of Highways officials tell MetroNews there are warning lights at the crossing and they were operating.

The train is the Cheat Mountain Salamander, a privately owned tourist train operated by Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad.  According to its website, the Cheat Mountain Salamander takes passengers on “mountain wilderness excursion rides.”  This time of year the ride is popular among tourists because of fall foliage.

Governor Tomblin issued a statement saying, “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those involved and the emergency responders working the tragic accident in Randolph County this afternoon.  My administration is working with all agencies involved to ensure the first responders and emergency managers on the ground are receiving the assistance they need.”





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