Witness: Truck on tracks for 8 minutes before Amtrak crash

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A huge truck with a state trooper escort was stuck in a railroad crossing with time enough to alert approaching trains, but there’s no indication that Amtrak was warned before a passenger train crashed into the truck and injured 55 people.

Now an eyewitness says she was misunderstood about just how long the truck was stuck on the tracks. Amber Keeter tells The Associated Press that it wasn’t 15 to 20 minutes, but rather about 8 minutes. The State Highway Patrol says it was about 5 minutes.

In any case, the state transportation secretary says if they had called the railroad emergency number posted at the crossing, a dispatcher could have reached oncoming traffic within a minute to tell them to stop.

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