Train hits charter bus in MS; unknown number of deaths, injuries

Marco Green
March 12, 2017

The train that slammed into a bus filled with passengers heading to Gulf Coast casinos "just kept coming and coming", according to a man who survived the crash in MS that killed at least four people Tuesday. At least 40 were hurt, seven critically. The cause of the Tuesday afternoon crash was under investigation. She told The Associated Press that while she was walking, the train hit the bus and pushed it past her.

The crossing was "ultra-hazardous and dangerous" because it has a steep grade and the potential for "high centering" cars in the area that CSX failed to maintain, the complaint states.

Creel says as many as 50 people were on the bus. Two people had to be removed with metal-cutting equipment.

The bus and passengers in Tuesday's crash left Bastrop on Sunday, March 5, and spent the night in Lafayette, Louisiana. Many were from the Bastrop Senior Center, which organized the trip.

City leaders are working with the Police Department, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Rail Administration. The names of the dead people have not been released. She says Orr choreographed dances to songs like "One Singular Sensation" and "Dancing Queen" and had a knack for bringing people together.

The lawsuit says the couple will be forever terrorized by the image of a train barreling toward them while they feared imminent death.

Cecelia McDonald said she ran out of her house and saw a scene of carnage.

Witnesses told the Sun Herald the bus was stuck for about five minutes before the train slammed into it.

A auto was used after the crash as a stepladder to get people off the bus, and emergency workers pulled passengers through windows.

Robinson said he thinks the train track, which is on an embankment, poses safety issues.

In addition the sign warning of a low ground clearance, the crossing has a bell, lights and crossing arms. Initially officials said four and revised to three.

Susan Lawson, another Red Hat, met Orr when they volunteered to help the community of Bastrop after fires in September 2011 killed two people and destroyed 1,660 homes. CSX, the operator of the train, said the locomotive was headed from New Orleans to Mobile, Alabama, at the time of the crash. The train crew was not injured.

Federal Railroad Agency records show 10 trains a day typically use the track, with a maximum speed of 45 miles per hour.

Four people died and 44 were injured in the accident at the Main Street railroad crossing, where a total of 16 accidents have been reported since 1976, including one previous fatality. A delivery truck was also struck at the same crossing in January, WLOX-TV reports.

Friends say one train crash victim always planned the best parties.

The bus is owned by Echo Transportation, a division of Grand Prairie-based TBL Group.

"We are in the process of reaching out to the driver through the company, and we are hopeful he will be able to meet our request", Sumwalt said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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