Don Anderson, Mayor of nearby Lakewood, predicted trouble. “We thought a train-vehicle collision was virtually inevitable,” he relates. Even in his wildest nightmares he never imagined it would involve a train flying off a freeway overpass at 80 miles an hour. At least three passengers were killed Monday morning on the first run of the new Point Defiance Bypass project. Seven vehicles including two trailer-trucks on the freeway were hit by train cars or debris.
After “the screech and clang of metal” was silence, then screams. All but one of fourteen train cars left the tracks, some crashing onto Washington’s Interstate 5. At least 70 were injured, some seriously. “It felt oddly silent after the actual crashing,” Emma Shafer relates. “Then there was people screaming. I don’t know if I actually heard the sirens, but they were there. A guy was like, ‘Hey, I’m Robert. We’ll get you out of here.’”
None of the anti-train activists saw this coming. “These are new, upgraded tracks. That’s what is so surprising about this.” The group had several safety concerns but they “weren’t worried about a train derailing,”…
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