Residents of the outlying communities west of Milwaukee might have to wait a little longer to receive packages from Amazon. An Amazon delivery van was bisected by an Amtrak train after the train collided with the rear section of the van at a railway crossing in Ixonia, WI. Thankfully, the driver of the van and everyone aboard the train was relatively unharmed after the incident last Wednesday afternoon.
The driver departed a residence on a small access road that parallels the railroad track until it terminates at a T-shaped junction with a public road. The junction with the public road, named River Valley Road, is also adjacent to a railroad crossing. This is a crossing with no signal or lights. Alexander Evans, the driver, was unaware of the Amtrak track approaching the crossing from the same direction.
Evans made a left-hand turn onto the crossing. He is also deaf in his left ear, so he didn’t hear the train’s blaring horn until the last moments before impact. Evans told WISN, “Literally, it was like one long beep, horn from the train, and I put my foot on the gas, kind of like trying. I don’t know how far I’m going to get away from him.”
That last press of the throttle was enough to move the driver’s seat out of the train’s path. The train would impact the van’s rear compartment, ripping it clean off the front portion of the vehicle. When asked what he experienced during the impact, Evans replied, “Just air and the pressure. I felt the airbags. I didn’t know what to feel, to be honest with you,”
Evans was extremely lucky that he only needed to go to the hospital for precautionary checks. He was able to go home to his wife and two daughters after an unforgettable 33rd birthday at work.