Cayce: An Amtrak passenger train slammed into a parked freight train in the early-morning darkness on Sunday after a thrown switch sent it hurtling down a side track, authorities said. Two Amtrak crew members were killed, and more than 100 people were injured.
It was the third deadly wreck involving Amtrak in less than two months.
The Silver Star, en route from New York to Miami with nearly 150 people aboard, was going an estimated 59 mph when it struck the empty CSX train around 2.45 a.m., Gov. Henry McMaster said.
The crash happened near a switchyard about 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Columbia where railcars hauling automobiles are loaded and unloaded.
Many of the passengers were asleep when the crash jolted them awake and forced them into the cold.
“I thought that I was dead,” said passenger Eric Larkin, of Pamlico County, North Carolina, who was dazed and limping after banging his knee.
Mr. Larkin said he was on his way to Florida when he was awoken by the crash. The train was shaking and jumping, and his seat broke loose, slamming him into the row in front of him, he said. He heard screams and crying all around him as he tried to get out. Other passengers were bleeding.