CHEAT BRIDGE, W.Va. -- A truck driver was killed and 23 other people were injured when a logging truck collided with a passenger train Friday in Randolph County.
The incident occurred at a train crossing on U.S. Route 250 near Cheat Bridge, which is near the Pocahontas-Randolph county line, at about 1:30 p.m., according to Randolph County 911 dispatchers.
Randolph County Sheriff Mark Brady said two of the train's passenger cars flipped onto their sides after impact, the log truck was a "total loss" and its driver was pronounced dead at the scene. Chief Buster Varner of the Bartow-Frank-Durbin Volunteer Fire Department identified the driver as Danny Lee Kimble Sr., of Frank.
Authorities said 63 people were aboard the train. At least six of the injured were hospitalized with serious injuries.
"The railroad crossing signals were flashing at the scene. As all emergency personnel arrived, we observed the signals flashing at the time," Brady said at a taped news conference held with hospital officials who emailed the audio recording to The Associated Press.
"At this juncture of the investigation, it appears that the log truck had run through the crossing signals and struck the passenger cars of the train," Brady said in the recording emailed by Davis Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Tracy Fath.
A preliminary toll of more than 60 injured in the incident was revised downward by Fath. She told The Associated Press Friday evening that dozens of people brought to a hospital by bus were found to be unhurt.
Earlier Friday, Randolph sheriff's deputies reported that one person had been killed and more than a dozen had been injured, some critically. Paramedics took about 20 people by ambulance to Davis Memorial Hospital in Elkins, said Vernon Edinger, administrative assistant at the Randolph County Office of Emergency Management.
Edinger had asked that people not inundate the hospital with calls about loved ones. About 30 people were checked out at the scene and taken to the hospital by school buses sent by the county.
The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad owns the train. John Smith, the company's owner, didn't return a phone call Friday evening. The train takes passengers on a four-hour, 46-mile trip past the High Falls of Cheat waterfall, according to the company's website.