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Love County train passenger recalls sparks, gravel in the air after accident

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 6:50 PM CDT
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ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - Jeremy Menchaca said he still can’t believe that he was in the Love County train accident on Friday.

He was riding home to Oklahoma City after visiting friends in Dallas. It was his second train ride ever- his first ride was the train ride to Dallas earlier that week.

He said he chose to ride the train cause it’s cheap, its fast, and its statistically safe.

And then happened.

“I was playing my switch and I felt us braking and I thought this feels like a hard breaking,” Menchaca said. “I looked over and I saw the truck and I just saw sparks until we stopped. And it took me awhile to process it. I was like ‘We just hit something. Holy crap we just hit something.”

According to the Love County Sheriff’s Office, a semi hauling cars got stuck on the train tracks, and an Amtrak train heading to Norman, Oklahoma from Fort Worth, Texas hit it.

“They said first we hit a gravel hauler, and I was like ‘Okay, that’s not good,” Menchaca said. “And after awhile its was like ‘Oh we hit a car hauler. We’re just still trying to work things out.’ It turns out the front, the front locomotive that hit it did derail a little bit.”

Four passengers were treated and released at the hospital.

Menchaca said he and the remaining passengers were stuck on the train for awhile.

“After we hit, they told us we can’t get off the train,” Menchaca said. “Probably at least four-and-a-half, five hours.”

Menchaca and other passengers were taken by bus to their destinations. Originally the buses were going to take them to Norman. but he said a compassionate bus driver helped him and other Oklahoma City residents get all the way home sooner.

“One bus driver was loading our stuff and he was like “No, you are not going to Norman, you’re going to Oklahoma City’,” Menchaca said.

Love County Sheriff Marty Grisham said the wreckage was cleaned up in about 15 hours.

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