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Amtrak train splits tractor-trailer in half in Putnam County crash

14 people evaluated for injuries; only 3 needed further medical treatment

Scene of a train vs. semi-truck crash in Palatka.
Scene of a train vs. semi-truck crash in Palatka.

PALATKA, Fla. – The driver of a tractor-trailer with a flatbed load of drywall was cited by the Sheriff’s Office after his actions led to a dramatic train crash in Putnam County.

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said the trailer was stopped over the railroad crossing at US-17 near Seminole Electric. When the warning signs became active as an Amtrak train approached the intersection, the driver didn’t move the vehicle.

The train hit the trailer, splitting the trailer in two and disabling the train’s engine. The Putnam County Fire Rescue evaluated 14 people for injuries. Of those, three needed transport to the Putnam County Medical Center, but the crash report shows those people have minor injuries.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, a 55-year-old man of Louisville, was not injured.

The crash elicited a huge response from law enforcement, including the Fire Department, the Sheriff’s Office, Amtrak Police, and CSX Police.

The crash happened just before 10 p.m.

The Sheriff’s Office said all cars are upright the train did not derail.

Multiple emergency responders were on the scene and there are several patients.

Northbound US-17 was closed because of the crash and a possible fuel leak near the front of the train and drivers were asked to avoid the area.