“It was a tough scene,” Amtrak engineer, conductor killed in crash, coroner identifies

Near crash site, Sunday. (Terry Ward photo.)

The train collision in Cayce early Sunday morning resulted in the deaths of two Amtrak employees. Killed was Michael Kempf, 54 of Savannah Ga. He was the Amtrak train’s engineer. Also killed was Michael Cella, 36, of Orange Park, Fla. He was the train’s conductor.

Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher, who was very emotional, said she has talked with the families of the two who were killed. She said family members were “very distraught” and “very shocked.” Fisher held a press conference to release the names of the victims. “It was a tough scene,” she said of the crash site.

President Donald Trump offered condolences to the families of the dead via social media.

 

Below is Fisher’s complete release regarding the train crash deaths:

Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher has identified the two individuals who died as a result of a train collision that occurred near Cayce, South Carolina at approximately 2:35 a.m. on Sunday.

According to Coroner Fisher, Mr. Michael Cella, 36, of Orange Park, Florida and Mr. Michael Kempf, 54, of Savannah, Georgia were the conductor and engineer, respectively, of the Amtrak train. Mr. Cella and Mr. Kempf were pronounced dead at the scene due to multiple body trauma sustained in the collision. The southbound Amtrak train collided with a northbound CSX freight train, which was stationary, causing the Amtrak train to derail.

Over 100 of the 139 passengers aboard the Amtrak train were transported to area hospitals; two of those individuals are reportedly in critical condition, while the majority sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation of the collision with the assistance of the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

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