TICONDEROGA — Whiteout conditions may have contributed to the train-vehicle collision on Wednesday afternoon that left Brian Woods with serious internal injuries, police say.
The Moriah man, 27, was listed in good condition at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington on Thursday, upgraded from critical on Wednesday.
An Amtrak passenger train struck the pickup truck that Woods was driving at a private crossing used by International Paper’s Ticonderoga mill, according to Ticonderoga Town Police.
Woods is a paper-mill employee and was traveling from the mill to check operation of a pump house near Lake Champlain when the crash occurred at about 3 p.m., police said.
Ticonderoga Police Investigator Daniel LaFrance said Woods was behind the wheel of a 2001 GMC pickup owned by International Paper.
“Upon crossing the tracks, he was struck by the Amtrak (train) heading north.”
Woods was taken to Moses-Ludington Hospital by Ticonderoga Emergency Squad, then transferred to Fletcher Allen, LaFrance said.
The train — an engine and five cars — was traveling at 44 miles an hour in a 50-mph zone, the investigator said, with 73 passengers and six crew members aboard. Heavy snow was falling at the time of the collision.
Ticonderoga Police, the State Police Collision Reconstruction Team, Canadian Pacific Railroad Police and Ticonderoga Fire Department and Emergency Squad were all at the crash site.
The train was released at about 8 p.m. to back up to the Ticonderoga Amtrak Station on Fort Ticonderoga Road, where passengers were transferred to buses to continue on north.
“The passengers were very patient,” LaFrance said. “After the passengers got off, the train was parked (on a siding), and it is out of service for further inspection.”
He said no tickets or arrests had resulted from the collision, which was still being investigated on Thursday.
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