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Amazon driver 'lucky to be alive' after collision with Amtrak train cuts van in half

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Posted at 2:51 PM, Nov 10, 2021

MILWAUKEE — An Amtrak train collided with an Amazon vehicle in the town of Ixonia after the vehicle tried to cross the tracks on Wednesday, authorities say. The driver of the vehicle was brought to the hospital for precautionary measures.

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Emergency crews are working to figure out exactly what happened after an Amtrak train collided with an Amazon van in Ixonia. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said a preliminary investigation shows the vehicle was heading northbound on River Valley Road around 1:30 p.m. when it attempted to cross the tracks. That's when the train, heading eastbound, struck the vehicle.

"The fact that he came out alive from that was really amazing, I was so happy that he was okay," said Ben Bellack

For Ben Bellack, it was a typical Wednesday afternoon working from home until he heard what he thought was a gunshot ring out just a few feet outside his window.

"I looked out the window and I saw that there was half of an Amazon van in the middle of the road," said Bellack.

The other half was wrapped around the front of a nearby train that had come to an emergency stop.

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"I grabbed my keys, got in the car, drove down there as quick as I could, expecting who knows what I was going to see. I look around and the guy was in the front seat and I was like are you okay? And he was like yeah," said Bellack.

The driver of the van was taken to a local hospital as a precaution. Amtrak says all 129 passengers and 12 crew members aboard the train are okay.

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Pam Avery and her daughter Tara Truax-Newhousewere were on their first train ride ever, on their way to Milwaukee to visit family.

"We were going along really well, and all of a sudden we felt a bump and then another little bump and then we heard the brakes go on," said Avery.

"When stuff was happening they let us know, so we didn't feel like we were in the dark," said Truax-Newhouse

After a delay of about four hours, the train was back on its way.

Amtrak said the train is a part of their Empire Builder service. It departed Seattle and Portland on Monday.

Amtrak identified the train as train 8/28.

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