APPLETON, Wis. - Four people were killed and 150 were hospitalized after an Amtrak train collided with a dump truck Monday, June 27 in Missouri. As investigators try to figure out how the crash happened, Appleton Boy Scouts who were on board the train are being called heroes.
Amtrak’s Southwest Chief was traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago when it struck the rear of the truck. Two locomotives and eight cars derailed. Amtrak officials said about 275 passengers and 12 crew members were aboard. That includes a Wisconsin Boy Scout who described the moment the train crashed, and what he did after.
It was something no Boy Scout training could prepare him for.
(Jill Toyoshiba/The Kansas City Star/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
"The adrenaline kicked in, and something took over and I knew what to do," said Eli Skrypczak. "It was unreal. It still doesn’t seem real to me."
Skrypczak jumped into action when the Amtrak train he was on derailed.
"Getting people out of windows and carrying them down," said Skrypczak. "I had to carry a couple kids in my arms, two at a time."
There were two Appleton troops on board.
"My seats were the ceiling," said Skrypczak. "I landed onto the other side of the seats as it tipped over."
His first reaction was to try to help.
"It was people first," said Skrypczak.
Skrypczak and his fellow Boy Scouts climbed out of the train car and immediately started aiding others.
"First thing I did was get out Boy Scouts and go over to the ditch to a truck driver and aided him with a police officer until he passed," said Skrypczak.
The teens used first aid training to help people injured until paramedics got there, and they weren't alone. Skrypczak said local farmers and passengers were helping, too.
"I started going down, making sure people were good," said Skrypczak. "I stabilized a couple people on the ground, making sure they didn’t move."
(Rich Sugg/Kansas City Star/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Four people were killed, including the truck driver. More than 100 others were hurt.
Skrypczak said all the Boy Scouts remained calm. Two of eight of the adults within their troop were taken to the hospital. While the Boy Scouts were banged up, no one in their group was severely injured.