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Amtrak train hits SUV; Driver critical

246 passengers on Amtrak train

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SATSUMA, Fla. – The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating after a train struck an SUV this afternoon in Satsuma, leaving the SUV's driver in critical condition.

The driver of the van has been identified as Gary Burch, 66, of Satsuma. He was flown to Shands Hospital in Gainesville where he's listed in critical but stable condition.

Kay Pierce and her husband Eddie have known Gary Burch for at least 30 years. They were stunned when they found out it was his SUV that was hit by a train. 

"It's just dumbfounding what happened," said Eddie Pierce.

"I'm hoping he's going to be okay," said Kay Pierce. "God's looking after him."

FHP said the accident happened at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of East Buffalo Bluff Road and Tyler Street. The train was en route from Miami to New York at the time of the accident.

Investigators said the arms were down at the railroad crossing, and the lights were activated on the crossing arms.

Amtrak said there were 246 passengers and crew on the train at the time of the accident. FHP originally said no one on board was injured, but has since said one person was hospitalized for a minor neck injury and released shortly after.


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