Skip to Main Content

2 Dead, 100+ Injured After Amtrak Train Collides with CSX Freight Train in South Carolina

Undefeated Train Accident Lawyers Investigating Fatal South Carolina Amtrak Crash that Left 2 Dead, More than 100 Injured.

Two Amtrak crewmembers died tragically this morning, after a passenger train collided with a freight train near the town of  Cayce, in Lexington County, South Carolina.

At least 116 people were injured in the crash, some seriously.

147 Aboard Amtrak Train 91 Traveling from New York to Miami

The horrific accident occurred as Amtrak Train 91 was traveling from New York to Miami with 139 passengers and 8 crew members aboard. At around 2:35 a.m., the passenger train plowed into a stationary CSX  freight train along a loading track.

The impact of the crash caused the Amtrak’s lead engine and several passenger cars to derail.

The violent collision could be heard 3 miles from the crash site.

“The sound was so loud, you instantly knew it was bad,” Elliot Smith, 22, of West Columbia, told The State.

Doomed Amtrak Train was Traveling on Wrong Track

During a news conference this morning, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster indicated that the Amtrak train was on the wrong track when it hit the CSX train.

Amtrak confirmed that the passenger train was supposed to be on the main line, just east of where the collision occurred.

Amtrak Engineer, Conductor Tragically Killed in South Carolina Crash

Amtrak has also confirmed that two of its personnel were killed in the collision.

They have been identified as engineer Michael Kempf, 54, from Savannah, Georgia, and conductor Michael Cella, 36, of Orange Park, Florida.

At least 116 passengers were sent to local hospitals. According to McMaster, injuries ranged from minor scratches to broken bones.

Dr. Steve Shelton, the director for emergency preparedness at Palmetto Health system, reported that three of those facilities had received a total of 61 patients.

“Currently there is one patient that is in critical condition, there are two others that are in serious and a few others that are currently being evaluated for possible serious conditions,” he said.

Officials with Palmetto Health later confirmed that 6 patients had been admitted.

27 patients were transferred to Lexington Medical Center. Although most were treated for minor injuries and released, two passengers were admitted.

CSX Signals Were Offline at Time of Collision

CSX maintains all of the tracks and signal systems in the area where the collision occurred.

According to NBC News, all CSX signals had been suspended for work and were offline at the time.

The Amtrak train was given verbal approval by CSX dispatch to proceed down a set of tracks. But the switch on those tracks was on the wrong position, setting the passenger train on a collision course with the freight train.

There was no Positive Train Control system in place in the area of the crash. Sources told NBC News that such a system could have prevented today’s tragedy.

Second Deadly Amtrak Train Crash This Week, Third Since December

This morning’s crash is the second deadly incident involving an Amtrak passenger train this week and the third since December.

On January 31st, an Amtrak train carrying Republican members of Congress hit a garbage truck in Virginia. A passenger aboard the truck was killed in that collision.

An Amtrak train derailment near DuPont, Washington on December 18th  killed 3 passengers and injured dozens of others.

Were You or Someone You Love Involved in the South Carolina Amtrak Train Crash? Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consultation.

Our Undefeated Train Accident Lawyers are investigating the Amtrak train crash in South Carolina and will post updates as more information becomes available.

With more than $1 billion recovered for our clients — including hundreds of people who were injured or tragically killed in train derailments and other railroad accidents throughout the United States — our Premier Personal Injury Lawyers have the skills and resources needed to ensure that our clients and their families are fully compensated for all of their injuries and losses.

If you or someone you love were injured or tragically killed in the South Carolina Amtrak crash,  and you have questions about your legal rights and options, please call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here to send us a confidential email via our “Contact Us” form.

All consultations are free. And because our attorneys work exclusively on a contingency-fee basis, you’ll owe nothing unless we win your case.