Amtrak train hits 2 people, kills 1
Putnam County deputies say train struck 2 in Satsuma
SATSUMA, Fla. – Florida Highway Patrol and the Putnam County Sheriff's Office are investigating a crash after they said a train struck two people in Satsuma early Thursday morning.
FHP said the crash happened just after 7 a.m. where County Road 309 crosses CSX rail lines, just west of U.S. 17.
Putnam County deputies said they received a call that an Amtrak train hit a man and a woman.
Stephen Smith, 30, of San Mateo, died at the scene, according to the FHP. Amanda Harvey, 32, of East Palatka, was flown to UF Health in Gainesville in serious condition.
FHP said the two were loitering on the tracks behind a Kangaroo convenience store when they were hit, and there are "some signs there may have been some impairment."
The operator of the train saw from a distance what appeared to be debris on the railroad, according to FHP. The operator activated the horn at the whistle post and throughout as it approached the objects, troopers said.
Before the collision, the operator saw two people lying on the railroad tracks, and he continued to use the horn as he applied the brakes, troopers said.
The operator said he saw the people on the tracks try to get up, but it was too late, according to FHP. Troopers said the front part of the train struck Smith.
People who live in the area say there's a lot of pedestrian traffic around the tracks there and people loiter often. A lieutenant at the scene can recall one or two accidents in the same spot.
The Amtrak Auto Train was going from Virginia to Sanford. There were passengers on board, but no one was hurt. As of 10 a.m., passengers were still sitting on the train waiting for a backup locomotive.
County Road 309 at U.S. 17 remained blocked by the train. The detour around takes motorists about a mile and a half south on U.S. 17. Drivers can turn right on Sisco -- a dirt road -- and it will take them around the scene and to C.R. 309.
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