(Salton Sea, California—September 8, 2022)
As a Union Pacific train was traveling along Highway 111 and pulled into an alternate railway, it hit several parked rail cars resulting in derailing the engine and seven of its cars. Both of the operators were then ejected from the train and declared deceased at the scene. The collision occurred around 3 a.m. after the train was traveling through a desolate stretch of desert near the east coast of the Salton Sea. First responders arrived to find the derailed locomotive and four park rail cars that had been plowed through. Dangers continued as an Amtrak passenger train arrived a few minutes after the crash but was able to slow to a halt.
The two Union Pacific workers were identified as adult males. Investigators are still working to determine what prompted the operators to head onto the siding before the crash and why the rail cars were parked there. The intersection where the collision occurred is the intersection with Range Road which cuts off from the highway and connects to private residential properties. The railroad crossing recognized as 760737T has not had any previous accidents but trains typically run up to 79 miles per hour. It is not clear whether the crossing played a factor in the collision.
The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the accident.