Brooklyn-bound Amtrak 188 survivor desribes horror of crash

Dan Kelley

A man headed to Brooklyn on the Amtrak train that derailed Tuesday night in Port Richmond described the horrific experience after being released from a hospital.

Jeff Kutler, who was traveling on Amtrak 188 from Washington, D.C. to Brooklyn, said he was onboard one of the train cars that derailed.

“My experience was speed around the curve and the train seemingly lifting off the track and tipping and hitting with a thud,” Kutler said.

“I got battered around and ended up in some precarious upside down position,or mostly upside down position, and when the train came to a stop — because Ithink it slid for a while –then Istarted thinking, ‘How am Igoing toget out of this hole i’m in?”

Kutler then crawled from his seat toward the train car’s exit where first responders helped him out.

He described how one woman in the car was tangled with the male passenger sitting next to her and was screaming that she couldn’t breathe, while other passengers sat calmly and waited to be removed by first responders.

Another female passenger, a doctor, was in extreme pain and self-diagnosed herself as having a broken leg.

Kutler had a red wound visible on the side of his head.

“My head got bumped,but that’s not too painful. Ihave more pain in my left leg – Imust have got battered around by some objects.”

Asked about reports that the train was going 100 miles per hour around a sharp curve, twice the speed limit on that part of the tracks, Kutler responded: “It did feel like we were going fast. I hate to make accusations that I’m not qualified to make, but it did seem that the train was going quite fast.”

Officials are scheduled to hold a press conference with updates on the train derailmentthat killed seven and injured more than 150 people on a train carrying 243 people at 2:15 p.m.

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