HAVERHILL — An 83-year-old man is dead after his pickup truck was hit by an Amtrak train carrying about 80 passengers Monday afternoon, according to the Essex County District Attorney’s Office.
Spokesperson Carrie Kimball did not release the man’s name.
The cause of the crash is being investigated by the State Police Detective Unit, Amtrak and MBTA police, Haverhill police, and the Massachusetts State Police Collision Analysis Reconstruction and Crime Scene Services sections. No foul play is suspected, Kimball said.
“You hear it in the distance, the ding, ding, ding,” said Karen McNamara, a Haverhill resident who heard the accident from her living room. “But then I heard a screech.”
McNamara said she looked out her window to see a pale green pickup that the train had crashed into just outside her Rosemont Street home.
A man lay on the ground about 15 to 20 feet away, she said, but no further details on the individual were available from authorities.
McNamara said she called 911, and Haverhill police and firefighters quickly responded. While outside talking to police, McNamara said she saw the railroad gate was broken. The gate prevents vehicles from crossing the tracks when a train is coming. Nearby roads were closed for hours.
Amtrak issued a statement confirming a vehicle and train collided on the tracks, delaying its Downeaster train service.
“A vehicle was obstructing the tracks north of Haverhill, Mass. on Monday, Dec. 27 at approximately 12:47 p.m. ET, when it came into contact with Amtrak Downeaster train 683 on its way from Boston to Brunswick, Maine, wrote Amtrak spokesperson Olivia Irvin. “There have been no reported injuries to crew members, (or) the 80 passengers on board. Amtrak Police are cooperating with local police to investigate the incident.”
Amtrak canceled later train runs, including one that was to leave Portland at 6:33 p.m. Monday and another that was to leave at 11:18 p.m., according to the company’s Twitter account.
“It was so quick,” McNamara said of the accident. “It was almost surreal it happened so quick.”
No one from the Haverhill Police or Fire departments returned calls for comment as of Monday night.