Amtrak Commuter Train Derails on I-5 Freeway in Washington State

The train was carrying 78 passengers and five crew.

Published Dec 18, 2017

 (Pierce County Sheriff / Twitter)
Image Via Pierce County Sheriff / Twitter

A commuter train carrying more than 80 people derailed 18 December 2017 on a bridge over Interstate 5 south of Tacoma, Washington. Authorities say there have been fatalities.

The Amtrak train was on its inaugural run on a new route; it had departed Seattle and was headed southbound to Portland, Oregon. It derailed at about 7: 45 A.M., causing train cars to hurtle off the overpass onto freeway lanes below during rush hour. A spokesman for Pierce County Sheriff's couldn't be immediately reached Monday morning, but authorities told reporters during a briefing that fatalities from the incident were contained to people on the train, and no motorists were killed.

According to Amtrak, there were 78 passengers and five crew on the train, but it remains unclear how many were killed:

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the derailment, according to a spokesman. The Pierce County Sheriff's Department posted images to social media from the scene.


O'Sullivan, Joseph, et al. "At least 3 dead after Amtrak train derails from bridge onto Interstate 5 near Olympia."   The Seattle Times. 18 December 2017.

Bacon, John. "Amtrak Train Derails, Dangles Over Interstate in Washington State."   USA Today. 18 December 2017.

Blankstein, Andrew, et al. "Amtrak Derailment: Train Crashes Near Tacoma, Washington, Fatalities Reported."   NBC News. 18 December 2017.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who has been working in the news industry since 2006.