Man charged after backhoe falls over bridge, gets hit by Amtrak Train

One person was trapped, officials say

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – UPDATE: State police said they have charged Alge Brandon for reckless driving

One person was trapped after a backhoe went over a bridge and was hit by an Amtrak train on Bellevue Road, according to Bedford County Fire & Rescue Special Operations Command.

The bridge on Bellevue Road will be closed until Monday after a backhoe and the man operating it fell off the side of the bridge.
State police said the driver lost control.

"The rear started chattering and skipping. So he couldn't get good breaking out of it," Virginia State Police Sgt. Richard Garletts said.

The machine landed on the side of the train tracks. Police said minutes later the Amtrak engine with two cars came by and side swiped the backhoe.

"They didn't have enough time to call to get the train to stop," Garletts said.

A a physician with Central Medical Group and the Operational Medical Director for Bedford County Fire and Rescue lives feet away from the accident.

"I had just gotten home when my friend called and said, 'Len, we're down at the bridge. You have to get here real quick, there's been a bad accident,'" Leonard Cohen said.

He said he was able to drive down to a very chaotic and active scene to help give medical attention.  

"He seem to be in acute distress, but he definitely seemed to be in a daze," Cohen said. "So I started talking to him. I asked him to say his first name. I asked him if he was OK. I felt his neck and back. I get him to come squeeze my fingers, which you seem to be able to do normally. But he couldn't remember who he worked for. Nor could he remember how to shut off the backhoe."

Police said the man has non-life-threatening injuries and the two engineers and two conductors on the train weren't hurt.
So far the name of the driver has not been released.


Stay with WSLS 10 for more on this breaking news story.

About the Authors: