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Amtrak train 174 collides with car in Virginia; no train passengers injured but driver rushed to hospital

An Amtrak train bound for Boston collided with a car in southern Virginia this morning, injuring the car’s driver and halting train service for two hours as officials inspected the damage.

Amtrak train 174 left out of Norfolk, Virginia early this morning with 46 passengers, said Amtrak Spokesman Cliff Cole. No passengers or crew members were injured, Cole said.

Roughly 50 miles into the ride, at about 6 a.m., the train struck a 2000 Ford Crown Victoria that was stopped on the tracks at a railroad crossing in the Virgina community of Waverly.

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Officials said the train was travelling 79 miles per hour when it impacted the car.

The driver of the car, Untron Drew, attempted to drive around a crossing bar, disregarding warning lights, according to a statement from the Virginia State Police.

Police said alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Drew was taken by a medical helicopter to a hospital in Richmond with injuries that were not considered life-threatening, police said.

The train was delayed for two hours while it underwent a safety inspection, Cole said. The train resumed service to Richmond where a handful of passengers were transferred at about 8:20 a.m. to Amtrak train 84, destined for Washington D.C.

The rest of the passengers continued on train 174 to Boston, which is now expected to arrive in Boston at 8:30 p.m. The ride from Norfolk usually is scheduled to take 13 hours, according to Amtrak.

“The equipment is in good working order and will make it to Boston,” Cole said in an e-mail.

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