I could recount the story to you here, but in exaggerated and somewhat false form, the Jackson, Mississippi Clarion-Ledger included me in its extended story, which can be accessed here.
My quote is below.
There was chaos on board the train, said passenger Matt Mourning of St. Louis.
"I was in the dining car, and all of a sudden there was a huge crash. I flew across the table, and my buddy who was with me flew out of the booth," he said. "Black smoke started coming inside, and one of the crew members told us to stay calm but my friend said we needed to get out, so he started tearing out the emergency windows."
Mourning said he and other passengers climbed out the window and ran away from the train, thinking it was going to explode.
No one jumped out of the windows of the train; my travel companion did, however, remove the dining car's emergency windows, since we thought the train was on fire below us. All passengers were herded out of an emergency exit door, not a window.
I'm also featured in the Associated Press article that ran nationwide, albeit in misspelled fashion (as "Matt Morning").
Despite the scariness of the collision, it is remarkable that no one died--including, to my present knowledge, the two men on the Waste Management truck. It's also amazing that the whole train didn't derail.
I will continue to support Amtrak, even if I think they need to rehaul their emergency procedures. You can't exactly wait for orders from the front of the train if that's the side that most often sees the worst of the damage.
What a crazy return home (the remaining 2 1/2 hours to New Orleans was completed by a pair of Coach busses)!