4-year-old is sole survivor of family van’s crash with Amtrak | PostIndependent.com

4-year-old is sole survivor of family van’s crash with Amtrak

LAS ANIMAS COUNTY — An Amtrak train on Sunday collided with a van near Trinidad, killing five people, including three children.

The Colorado State Patrol released a statement saying a 2005 Chrysler Town & Country failed to yield right of way to the train and was struck at 9:45 a.m. The van’s driver and three of the six passengers died at the scene. A fifth passenger was taken to a hospital and declared dead.

A 4-year-old girl was the sole survivor of the crash, which killed her parents and three sisters. The girl was hospitalized Monday at Children’s Hospital in Aurora with serious injuries.

The girl’s parents were identified as 32-year-old Stephen Miller and 33-year-old Christine Miller of Trinidad. Their daughters, ages 6, 2 and 8 months, also died.

An Amtrak spokeswoman said that more than 280 passengers were on board at the time of the crash. No one on the train was injured.

The Southwest Chief train, which travels between Chicago and Los Angeles, resumed its route at 5 p.m.

Authorities said use of alcohol or other drugs was not suspected. Trooper Art Gumke said the crossing is marked with signs but doesn’t have gates to stop vehicles.

It is the second collision in Colorado in four weeks involving an Amtrak train and a vehicle seeking to make it through a crossing. On May 31, a pickup truck was hit at a crossing just west of Glenwood Springs. It delayed the train about five hours. No one on the train was hurt, and the driver, Ever Vega, was able to climb out of his pickup truck with moderate injuries. Amtrak said it may seek to recover its costs from Vega, who was not insured.

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