APNewsBreak: Trucker distracted in train crash

September 26, 2011 - 12:25 PM

NORTH BERWICK, Maine (AP) — Police in Maine say a New Hampshire truck driver was distracted by his cellphone and driving 20 mph over the speed limit when he skidded into the path of an Amtrak train.

The driver, 35-year-old Peter Barnum, was killed in the July 11 crash.

Police Chief Stephen Peasley says Barnum took a 5-minute phone call from his employer before the crash at a gate crossing in North Berwick.

A report reviewed by The Associated Press indicated the phone call began at 11 a.m. Police received the first 911 phone calls at 11:05 a.m.

Investigators believe Barnum was distracted by the phone, but can't say for sure he was talking at the time of impact.

Peasley also says investigators believe the truck was traveling about 50 mph before the crash.