5 dead after Amtrak train crashes into van near Trinidad

Published: Jun. 26, 2016 at 3:58 PM MDT
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There is an investigation into a train accident that happened near Trinidad on Sunday.

We're told the Amtrak train hit a minivan. Five people died, including two parents and three of their four kids. Their other daughter, the lone survivor 4-year-old Heidi, was airlifted to a Denver hospital and is in stable condition. Family members tell 11 News they were on their way to church when they were hit.

It happened around 9:45 a.m.

Amtrak said 286 passengers were on board. The train was on the way from Chicago to Los Angeles. No one on board was injured.

Amtrak said the car was "obstructing the tracks." Colorado State Patrol said "failing to yield the right of way" is being considered as a cause.

"I'm still kind of soaking it in. It's really weird, because, you know, these are people that I've never even seen before but yet I've shed quite a few tears today," said Roberta Albright. She was a passenger on the train and wasn't allowed to get off the train during the eight-hour investigation.

The railroad crossing does not have any gates or lights. It has crossbucks.

In an 11 Call for Action Investigation in November 2015, we uncovered about half of the crossings in Colorado only have a white X to warn you of a possible train.

Federal railroad officials say engineers must sound the horn before a public crossing, and Amtrak says they will investigate to see if the engineer did that at the crossing near Trinidad.

State Patrol tells 11 News there have been several accidents at this same railroad crossing. It's not a heavily traveled area, but a lot of locals cross the tracks.


has been set up for the family to help with the funeral costs and to pay for the flight the little girl took to the hospital.