Train Crash in Butler County Kills Two and Seriously Injures One

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When a vehicle was stopped on the railroad tracks in Butler County, it was crashed into by a locomotive killing two and seriously injuring a third occupant of the vehicle.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol crash report, on June 5, 2012 at approximately 12:30 A.M., a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee was stopped on the railroad tracks CR 554 one mile east of Poplar Bluff. It is unknown who was the driver of this vehicle. The vehicle contained at least three occupants: Kaitlyn Fowler, age 15, from Poplar Bluff, Missouri; Victoria Swanson, age 15, from Poplar Bluff; Haley Whitmer, age 17, from Poplar Bluff. At said time and place, Troy Gray, age 53, from Little Rock, Arkansas was heading south while operating a 2001 General Electric Locomotive on said railroad tracks.

The crash occurred when Gray’s locomotive crashed into the vehicle with the three occupants inside. Amtrak is the train owner and the sign used was a passive warning crossbucks only, according to the crash report.

Fowler suffered serious injuries and was taken from the scene of the crash by air evac to St. Francis Hospital in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Swanson and Whitmer were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash by Butler County Coroner Jim Akers. They were taken from the scene of the crash by the Butler County coroner to Butler County Morgue.

The 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee received total damage and was towed from the scene of the crash by Woolard Two Brother’s Towing of Poplar Bluff, Missouri. The locomotive did not receive damage as a result of this crash and was driven from the scene.

This crash was investigated by Trooper C. W. Tucker and assisted by Butler County Sheriff’s Department. It was the 23rd and 24th fatality for Troop E of Butler County for the year 2012.



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