The National Transportation Safety Board released their preliminary report for their ongoing investigation into the collision and derailment of Amtrak's Southwest Chief and a dump truck near Mendon on Thursday, July 21, 2022.

Their report says the Chicago-bound train had 270 passengers and 12 crew on board when the crash occurred with a 2007 Kenworth dump truck that was blocking a railroad grade crossing. Three passengers and the truck driver died in the crash, and multiple passengers and crew members were transported to local hospitals with injuries.

The crash derailed the entire train with seven railcars coming to rest on their side while the heavily damaged dump truck came to rest in a ditch northeast of the rail crossing adjacent to the road.

the NTSB report says while on scene the agency's investigators conducted highway railroad grade crossing inspections and highway vehicle inspections and reviewed data from the lead locomotive's forward-facing image recorder and event recorder, obtained the truck's engine control module, and conducted interviews.

The preliminary report indicates The Southwest Chief was authorized to run at 90 miles per hour on this track and was traveling at 89 miles per hour when the train's emergency brakes were activated. In addition to signals and a traffic control system operated by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, that system is overlaid with a positive train control system, or PTC for short, which was enabled and operating at the time of the collision.

As it continues its investigation the NTSB will focus on highway railroad grade crossing design specifications, railcar design, survival factors, and passenger railcar crashworthiness.

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