One killed, 12 injured as Amtrak train hits tractor in Ventura County

The Associated Press
Saturday November 24, 2001

CAMARILLO — An Amtrak Surfliner train crashed into a tractor, killing the farm vehicle’s driver and causing minor injuries to 12 rail passengers Friday, authorities said. 

The northbound train struck the tractor shortly after 2 p.m. as it was pulling a device to prepare fields for planting, said Ventura County Fire Department spokesman Joe Luna. 

The tractor was dragged in flames 400 yards. The lead passenger car of the train, which was being pushed by a locomotive at the rear, was heavily charred and ended up with its front wheels off the track. 

The tractor driver was identified as a 65-year-old man but his name was not immediately released. 

The crash occurred about 50 miles west of Los Angeles at an unguarded crossing at 5th Street and Pleasant Valley Road, Luna said. Twelve passengers were evaluated by paramedics and five opted to be taken to hospitals, Luna said. 

The injuries included minor shock and anxiety, he said. 

The eight-car Surfliner, carrying 150 passengers, began its run in San Diego. Its final destination was Santa Barbara. Passengers were being taken the rest of the way by bus. 

A call for comment to an Amtrak representative wasn’t immediately returned. Luna said Amtrak would determine how fast the train was going and any further details on the crash investigation.