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Boone Health staff explains disaster response for 28 victims of Amtrak train derailment

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Boone Health medical staff held a press conference Wednesday to share their experience caring for 28 patients after the Amtrak train derailment in Mendon on Monday.

The crash killed four people and injured 150 others. According to investigators, a dump truck crossed in front of the train at the crossing on Porche Prairie Avenue.

Crews took victims to 10 different hospitals throughout the state, including Boone Health and MU Health Care in Columbia.

Boone Health officials said more than 25 additional medical professionals came in to help that night.

Jesse Godec, a clinical educator at Boone Health, said that it was a big event, but the hospital was prepared for this type of disaster response.

"Early communication through our center created an early response plan and we were ready to receive patients within 30 minutes," Godec said.

Boone health assigned an adult staff member to all unaccompanied minors to make sure they were not alone.

After patients were seen in the emergency department they were taken to a conference room where they were given food, drinks, phone chargers, clothes and more. Boone Health said all 28 patients were seen within two hours. Every patient from the train crash was released Monday night.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop B identified the four victims of the crash Wednesday.

Troopers said train passengers Rochelle Cook and Kim Holsapple died at the scene. Binh Phan, also a passenger, died from his injuries at University Hospital. The truck driver, Billy Barton II, of Brookfield, also died in the collision. 

A MU Health Care spokesman said the hospital is still treating six patients as of Wednesday night. Two people have been sent home since Tuesday night.

An attorney who is working with victims says victims can suffer physical and mental pain from an event like this.

"The post traumatic stress syndrome and the emotional damage these people sustain is real," Henry Simmons with Clifford Law Offices Managing Partner.

Boone Health, along with Amtrak, coordinated and booked hotel rooms for all 28 patients.

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Leila Mitchell

Leila is a Penn State graduate who started with KMIZ in March 2021. She studied journalism and criminal justice in college.

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