Officials Identify 4 People Who Died in Amtrak Derailment

MENDON, Mo.—Authorities on Wednesday identified the four people killed when an Amtrak passenger train collided with a dump truck earlier this week in rural Missouri, saying two were from Kansas and two were from Missouri.

The truck driver, 54-year-old Billy Barton II, of Brookfield, Missouri, died in Monday’s collision, the Chariton County coroner said.

Two train passengers—Rochelle Cook, 58, and Kim Holsapple, 56, both of DeSoto, Kansas, died at the scene. A third passenger 82-year-old Binh Pham, of Kansas City, Missouri, died Tuesday at a hospital.

Amtrak train crash
Workers inspect the scene of an Amtrak train which derailed after striking a dump truck near Mendon, Mo., on June 27, 2022. (Charlie Riedel/AP Photo)

The train was going about 87 mph when it collided with the dump truck at a rural Missouri railway crossing, an official with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Wednesday.

The speed limit is 90 mph at the crossing where the collision occurred Monday in western Missouri, NTSB Chairwoman Jennifer Homendy said. The Southwest Chief was traveling about 89 mph when it began blowing its horn about a quarter mile from the collision site, she said.

The early investigation found no concerns with the train’s brakes or other mechanical issues, Homendy said.

The crossing, which had no lights or other signals to warn about an approaching train, is “very steep” and Homendy acknowledged area residents had expressed concerns about it before the crash.

The Missouri Highway Patrol said up to 150 people also were injured in the collision.

The Southwest Chief was traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago when it hit the rear right side of the truck near Mendon. Two locomotives and eight cars derailed. Amtrak officials said about 275 passengers and 12 crew members were aboard.