ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) – Clean-up and repair efforts began in Montana after an Amtrak train derailed over the weekend.
The work started yesterday, with several derailed train cars being seen getting moved down the track after being righted. Officials with the NTSB are still investigating the cause of the crash, which left eight train cars derailed and tipped onto their sides on Saturday.
The train, which was traveling from Chicago to Seattle, was carrying 141 passengers, dozens of which were injured, leaving three dead. A Rockford couple was among those on the train.
Steven Hall was in one of the train cars that tipped over in the derailment. While Hall said he is currently okay, he suffered three broken ribs, damage to his teeth and overall the trauma of being on one of the tipped cars. His wife was a few cars ahead of him at the time, which did not tip over.
“We went over hard,” Hall said. “My car tipped over. My wife was back in our sleeper, she did not go over. I am just sitting, there sipping my beer and I said ‘ooh’, and sure enough it happened. You just started rocking, and again I have read all the stories and I have been on trains, yeah…nuts.”
The rocking became more violent, and then Hall’s car tipped onto it’s side.
The couple has returned to Rockford, and Hall said that he vaguely remembers the crash, but recalls the moment he felt like his life flashed before his eyes.
“I was on the glass and we were sliding across the planes, sort of speak, and they said the train was going 78 mph when we went over, so my fear was, was that glass was going to break, what is like seeing your life…I do not know. It was like, I rolled over onto the metal part. If you look at that car, it has got the high windows, so we were on our side and I was in the metal between the windows I think. Anyway, that is the last I remember.”
“I was in shock, sadly, but my wife, she was looking for me, and I experienced it, and she experienced it. The people out there were so nice,” Hall continued. “Everybody just said they were taken away by the love we received.”
Hall said that the accident has taken a mental toll on him. Amtrak reimbursed the family for the trip, in addition to offering to pay for any injuries that require medical attention.