Driver survives 80 mph Amtrak collision

Posted at 7:07 AM, Dec 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-12 19:42:35-05

WAVERLY, Va. (WTVR) - A Virginia man survived after an Amtrak train traveling nearly 80 miles an hour hit his car as he drove over train tracks on Main Street (Route 40) in Waverly, Virginia.

"A 2000 Ford Crown Victoria, driven by Untron Drew, attempted to drive around a crossing bar, disregarding warning lights and functional crossing bar," Virginia State Police spokeswoman Sgt Michelle Anaya wrote in an email. "Mr. Drew has been med flighted to VCU, in Richmond, with non-life threatening injuries."

Alcohol is a factor in the crash, she added.

A Waverly man told CBS 6 reporter Jerrita Patterson there were problems with the railroad crossing arm last week.

Drew's car was an old police car auctioned off to a private citizen, Sgt. Anaya said.

"The tracks have been cleared," Patterson tweeted from the scene about 8:50 a.m. "Norfolk Southern workers on hand now."

"Northeast Regional train 174, operating from Norfolk to Boston, struck a vehicle at 5:57 am in Waverly. There were no reported injuries by any of the 46 passengers," Amtrak spokeswoman Christina Leeds wrote in an email. "The train will continue on when released by local authorities."

There have been 21 collisions and one fatality at railroad crossings in Virginia this year.