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Man who hit Amtrak train near Palatka identified

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Updated: 1/30 2:35 pm
PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. -- A car hit an Amtrak train in Putnam County, sending one person to the hospital with unknown injuries.

The collision happened at a crossing along a dirt road in Bostwick near the Seminole Electric Plant on Highway 17, just north of Palatka, according to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.

Amtrak told Action News the train had 473 passengers on board.  Train 53, also known as the auto train, travels daily between Lorton, Virginia, and Sanford, Florida. It was on its way to Virginia.

The crash delayed Train 53 and other Amtrak trains in the area.

The victim has been identified as 21-year-old Herbert Fridy III.  He is hospitalized at UF Shands in Gainesville.  Investigators say Fridy was leaving the driveway of a home off U.S. 17 when he tried to cross the crossing and failed to stop for the train. Investigators are not sure why.  The front left portion of the train hit the front of Fridy's GMC pickup truck.

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njromano - 1/30/2014 4:23 PM
0 Votes
SuzyC, has Amtrak offered you anything in return for the massive delays on this train? I know they gave my father a hotel voucher but I don't feel that's good enough.

ashlee - 1/30/2014 1:43 PM
0 Votes
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SuzyC - 1/30/2014 10:15 AM
0 Votes
I am from NJ and I was on that train also, your information is pretty accurate. Total delay was over 11 hours. We were told that the first long delay was due to a frozen horn. We had to wait for someone to bring parts or some sort of way to repair. I wonder why there was no backup for that horn since it is so essential due to federal regulations.

njromano - 1/29/2014 10:11 PM
1 Vote
My father, who suffers from hypertension, is on this train. He drove from New Jersey to Virginia to take this train to Florida. My initial concern is the fact that he has been on board (at the time of the accident) over 8 hours past it's initial arrival time. My sister had to book a hotel room at the destination because it would be far too late for him to drive once it was SUPPOSED to arrive. Adding insult to injury, the train had an accident. At 5pm he sent me a txt stating "We hit someone on tracks.". I called Amtrak twice as a result of this. The first time they straight up lied to me about any accident happening and further lied by claiming the train was arriving at the station around 6pm EST. My sister tweeted Amtrak for info and no response was given. I sent him a txt at 6:06pm telling him he should be arriving at the station any moment as the Amtrak agent had advised me. My father said the train was still stuck, had hit a pickup truck and injured at least one person and that Amtrak was lying. At 6:13 he sent me a new txt stating that they have to wait another 1 1/2 hours for a relief crew. Note that by now, the train from VA to FL is the same as taking a flight from NY to Australia. At 8:15pm the train finally started moving again. During the SECOND phone call I had with Amtrak, I wanted to know the status of the accident, my fathers car and if any compensation or partial refund could be issued as a result of the massive delay PRIOR to the accident. The Amtrak rep during the second phone call put me on hold and explained procedure to me but then told me she had zero details on the accident. I told her the train hit a pickup truck to which she responded, "It hit a semi", to which I responded that I thought she had zero details. Very shady for Amtrak to conduct itself this way. I recorded the entire second conversation for any media outlet to listen to. I hope the driver of the truck is ok and my prayers go out to them/family.
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