BESSEMER, AL (WAFB) - An Amtrak train filled with dozens of LSU football fans collided with a dump truck near Birmingham, Alabama Friday afternoon, killing the driver of the truck. The fans left Louisiana Friday morning to attend Saturday's match up between LSU and Alabama.
There were no immediate reports of any injuries on the train. Amtrak officials say there were 124 passengers on the train.
Bessemer Police Deputy Chief Mike Roper told a local news station the driver of the dump truck was killed in the crash. Roper told the station the railroad crossing arms were working at the time of the crash and they are investigating if the driver tried to beat the train.
LSU fan Amy Duplessis of Prairieville, LA says she and her husband and two friends were eating a late lunch on the train when the accident happened.
"We were in the dining car, toward the front of the train," Duplessis said. "My back was to the engine and I felt a thump and we saw a big ball of smoke. As the train passed, I saw something flipping, saw lots of dust, and then the train came to a stop."
Duplessis said the train departed New Orleans Friday morning and had just let off about 100 LSU fans in Tuscaloosa before the accident happened. She says her group of about 50 people is taking the train to Birmingham where they plan to stay the night before heading to Tuscaloosa on a charter bus Saturday.
"The first engine is damaged so they told us they are going to pull that off and try to get the second engine to pull us to Birmingham," she said.
The accident happened at a railroad crossing in Bessemer, about 15 miles from Birmingham.