8 hurt in Lakeland train crash with semitrailer

The collision is estimated to cost millions in damage.
A passenger train crashed into a semi-trailer in Lakeland.
A passenger train crashed into a semi-trailer in Lakeland. [ Photo illustration| Times ]
Published July 15, 2023|Updated July 15, 2023

Eight people sustained minor injuries in a collision between an Amtrak passenger train and a semitrailer truck in Lakeland on Friday, according to a Polk County Sheriff’s Office news release.

The train, carrying 173 people, was scheduled to go from Miami to New York and had recently left the Lakeland Amtrak station when it hit the truck, which was stuck on the tracks.

As the train approached the truck at around 78 mph, the truck’s driver and single passenger jumped out of the vehicle. Diesel fuel from the train leaked and a part of the lead engine derailed.

Uninjured passengers and crew on the train were transported to Tampa via bus, while those injured were transported to a nearby hospital.

“It is truly a miracle that nobody was seriously hurt in this crash. A collision between a passenger train and a semi-truck could have been much worse,” Polk Sheriff Grady Judd said in the release.

Damages to the train and tracks, as well as cleanup costs and losses because of the track’s temporary closure, are estimated at $6 million to $10 million, the release said.

The truck’s driver was given a citation for insufficient clearance at a railroad crossing. An investigation into the crash is ongoing.