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Honeymooners recall experience of Amtrak train derailment

Posted at 9:47 PM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 14:49:13-04

MENDON, Mo. — A recently married Kansas City couple took a honeymoon they - and their unborn child - won’t ever forget.

Daniel Daigle and his wife, both of Olathe, boarded Amtrak’s Southwest Chief No. 4 late Monday morning from Kansas City’s Union Station bound for Chicago’s Union Station.

But their train didn’t make it after it collided with a dump truck at a railroad crossing south of Mendon, Missouri, about 80 miles northwest of Columbia, Missouri.

The collision derailed the train, killing two on the train, the occupant of the dump truck, and injured dozens of train passengers.

RELATED | Site of rail crossing was on state list for gates and signal upgrades

“We were sitting there starting to tip, tip, tip, tip” Daigle recalled to KSHB 41 News reporter Megan Abundis at Northwest High School, the gathering point in Mendon for passengers on the train.

The train’s passenger cars, public cars, baggage car and two locomotives derailed just after 12:40 p.m., flipping the train onto its side.

“I looked out the window and I saw the dust cloud and the next thing you know, the car is rolling,” Daigle said.

RELATED | Passengers recall moments leading up to derailment

After the train came to a stop, Daigle’s wife said he helped lead people to safety.

“He would boost people out and I would lift them out,” she said.

The couple, married two days ago on Saturday, were taking what they thought was a lower-stress way to travel given the couple was pregnant.

Any worries about the health of their extra passenger were quickly lessened once they arrived at the passenger staging point.

There, medical staff performed a check.

“They did a test for us here and we listened to the heartbeat,” she said.