Varner said the front end of the logging truck, normally about 8 feet long, was crushed to 2 feet. He said it took more than three hours to remove Kimble's body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Varner echoed comments made by Randolph County Sheriff Mark Brady a day earlier that it appeared the truck ran through crossing signals.
"I did not see any skid marks," Varner said, adding that passengers said they could see the truck driver, and that he was alert when the crash happened.
"I looked at the people around me in the car and said, 'He's going to hit us,'" passenger Greg Barringer was quoted by The Inter-Mountain of Elkins as saying.
"We hoped if it would hit, that it would be the caboose, because it had no passengers in it. We saw and felt the truck hit the cars behind us and then we saw them tip over."
Twenty-three people were treated at the hospital for injuries, and another 42 were examined and found to be unharmed, said Davis Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Tracy Fath.
One of the train's passengers was in stable condition with unidentified injuries at the hospital Saturday, Fath said.
Four passengers were transferred to a Morgantown hospital, where a spokeswoman who answered the phone said she couldn't release patient information without first being provided their names.
Fath said those who weren't hurt received "comfort care" before leaving the hospital.
"In light of everything, it could have been so much worse," Fath said.
Route 250 was reopened by Saturday morning.
The railroad said in a message on its answering machine that the Cheat Mountain Salamander was idled Saturday due to the damage to the train and that it will issue refunds.
The Salamander takes tourists on 6.5-hour trips to areas reaching more than 4,000 feet in elevation during peak leaf season in October.