NEWARK (KPIX 5) — A motorist was seriously injured Sunday morning when a minivan crashed into an Amtrak train on Cedar Boulevard, according to the Alameda County Fire Department.
It was the second serious train collision in the Bay Area to shut down streets in the past week.
The crash happened at about 8:45 a.m. near Cedar Boulevard and St. Isabel Avenue, not far from the I-880 overcrossing.
While officials have not provided much information about the collision, the accident sent the driver of the minivan to the hospital.
Witnesses said it sounded like a bad car crash when the Amtrak train heading from San Jose to Sacramento hit the Dodge Grand Caravan.
“And out of nowhere I just hear a big bang,” said crash witness Christopher Ruelas, who lives in the area. “So I look out the window and all I see and hear is the train dragging the van and I hear [imitates scraping noise].”
Ruelas said he ran outside to try to help.
“When I look I’m like, ‘Oh man, what the hell?’ And I see the van squished in half,” he explained.
Police said the driver, a woman, was the only person in the van.
“She was bleeding really bad from her head, so I got the chills. Just seeing her forehead just bleeding a lot,” said Ruelas.
Paramedics rushed the woman to the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center with serious injuries.
There were 24 passengers and 5 crew members on the train at the time of the crash. None were seriously hurt.
Train traffic was delayed for one hour, and passengers were transferred to a new train, said Amtrak spokesman Mark Magliari.
Another eyewitness who did not want to talk on camera told KPIX 5 he was working on his car outside his home Sunday morning when the accident happened. He said he looked up when he heard the train coming and saw the red crossing-lights flashing, but claimed the warning bell wasn’t ringing and the arms never came down.
The witness said he saw a couple of cars drive through, but when the van tried to cross, he saw the train hit it and push it down the tracks.
An Amtrak spokesperson said there was no problem with the crossing arms.