Sunday, October 2, 2022

Brentwood Amtrak crash: At least 4 other train crashes reported in last 20 years at crossing where 3 women were killed

BRENTWOOD (KGO) — Federal investigators were out in Brentwood Monday trying to piece together the circumstances surrounding a fatal train accident.

Three women in a car were killed and three others were injured, two of them seriously. The intersection had no train crossing guard.

Amtrak and BNSF trains roar across the farmland near Brentwood 24/7.

On Sunday around 1:00 pm, a car tried to cross the tracks on a dirt road crossing on private land to attend a fundraiser for someone who died.

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Emergency crews swept in and pronounced three people dead at the scene. Two women from Dixon, 41-year-old Julia Mondragon, and 72-year-old Maria Nieves. 51-year-old Antioch resident Mercedes Regalado also lost her life.

Two others, which included a child, suffered major injuries and were life-flighted out to local hospitals. No one aboard the Amtrak train was injured.

Locals here say there have been many train collisions.

“This farmland you listen for the horn and you can clearly see when a train is coming for probably a quarter-mile away. So it’s hard to believe you can’t hear a train or see a train,” said Cindy Caprio with Orwood Resort .

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According to the federal government, there have been four crashes in the exact same spot as Sunday’s accident in the last 20 years, one of them also a fatal accident.

“It’s not the first time it’s happened. There’s a monument, three to four years ago a young man got killed there. My opinion is people aren’t used to going across railroad tracks where there isn’t a signal,” said neighbor Gilbert Somerhalder.

Somerhalder owns the adjacent property and said he saw more than 100 cars crossing over to the vineyard property where the fundraiser was being held Sunday.

Federal railroad officials and BNSF officers launched a drone along the tracks as part of an ongoing investigation into what happened.

“It needs the regular crossing guard coming down and it needs the whistles and bells that come down. As the place gets more populated it’s going to happen more,” said neighbor Jim Saathoff.

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