Dyer County train crash causes damage, closure of depot

DYER COUNTY, Tenn. — A northbound train hit a semi-truck in downtown Newbern, Tenn. on Tuesday in Dyer County.

According to a Facebook post from the Newbern Depot Museum, the crash caused major damage to the Depot’s center museum room, but the freight room and south museum room “appear to be ok.”

Crews worked to clean-up damage at a railroad crossing and historic train station. The 18-wheeler was destroyed, and the wreck caused major damage to the train station in Newbern.

The train blew through the semi-truck dragging it several feet before the trailer hit the side of the old building damaging the center portion of a museum. The truck driver got out before the impact.

FOX13 spoke with Newbern Depot Museum Manager Lynn Willis who said he is just glad nobody was hurt.

"There have been vehicles hit here before, but nothing like this," Willis said. "I went in last night to look at the gem displays, and most of it is just right in that window appears to be what it damaged."

Folks with the Newbern Depot snapped pictures showing the 18-wheeler torn to shreds.

“The building is 100 years old this year. We were going to have a celebration,” said Willis. “We had already put it off because of COVID. We were trying to figure out what to do with that, and now we have to wait for the damage assessment.”

“It is quite emotional because I have known this building all of my life,” one resident said. “I have been inside that building many times.”

The other half of the 18-wheeler hit a rail crossing and snapped it in half. Crews pulled out heavy equipment to dig up its cement base.

The museum is a rest area for Amtrak passengers. For now, the Newbern/Dyersburg stop is closed. Amtrak told FOX13 travel will not be disrupted. The next stop is Memphis.

The Mayor of Newbern, Pam Mabry, sent FOX13 the following statement:

After getting there, I discovered that a semi-truck was delivering a new tractor to the tractor dealer in Newbern and the trailer stuck on the tracks while trying to cross. The driver and a couple of firemen who happened to be at the NFD were trying to resolve his issue and notify the railroad when the train whistle blew. It was only there about 3 minutes when that happened. They all ran to safety as the train hit the trailer, knocking it from the truck and demolishing the new tractor. The train drug the trailer and tractor debris down the walkway behind the depot doing damage to a couple of areas of the depot but surprisingly that was all. It could have been so much worse. Sometimes there are cars in the parking area waiting on the Amtrak. The lot was empty. It’s a mess, but messes can be cleaned up, and buildings can be fixed. Thank God there was no loss of life or injury.