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Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Dec. 5, 2023

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Amtrak train hits unoccupied vehicle in Ridgefield

Passengers delayed about an hour and 20 minutes, no injuries reported

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

Nobody was injured but holiday travelers were delayed Sunday evening when an Amtrak train struck an unoccupied car at a railroad crossing in Ridgefield.

The crash occurred shorty after 5 p.m. near the intersection of Mill Street and North Railroad Avenue, when the southbound train hit the empty vehicle, which was on the tracks, Amtrak spokesman Mike Tolbert said.

None of the train’s passengers or crew were injured, and no major damage to the train or the tracks was reported, Tolbert said.

Officer Jason Ferriss of the Ridgefield Police Department said a man was driving the car from McCuddy’s Ridgefield Marina when the car stalled on the tracks. The man tried to restart the car as the train approached, but the arms of the railroad crossing began coming down.

“He jumped out, and about 15 seconds later, (the car) got hit by the southbound Amtrak,” Ferriss said.

Nobody else was in the vehicle, Ferriss said. The man escaped injury, but the car was a total loss, he added.

The Amtrak Cascades 507 train was on its way to Eugene, Ore., from Seattle. Its next planned stop was in Vancouver when the crash occurred. 

BNSF Railway spokesman Gus Melonas said the incident occurred on BNSF’s main north-south line, stopping train traffic for an hour and 20 minutes. The Amtrak train was delayed, as well as two BNSF freight trains, he said.

The line reopened shortly before 6:30 p.m., he said.

Melonas said that the railroad crossing was not damaged.

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Columbian Assistant Metro Editor