A Community Responds-Sam Graves

July 01, 2022

Dear Friend,

It’s been a difficult week for folks in parts of North Missouri. As most have seen or heard by now, the Amtrak Southwest Chief train was in the middle of its regular cross-country route on Monday, that typically stops in Kansas City and La Plata before heading on to Chicago, when it tragically struck a truck and derailed near Mendon, MO in Chariton County.

Several folks were killed and many more were injured. It was a harrowing day and something that we thankfully aren’t used to. However, folks from around North Missouri rose to the moment and showed who we are.

First responders, law enforcement professionals, and citizens rushed in from well over 100 miles away in some cases to help those injured at the scene, transport them to hospitals, set up a triage area at the local high school, and bring food and supplies to the passengers who were suddenly stranded far from home.

We also had medical helicopters from all over the state landing in a field right next to the accident, coordinating with multiple hospitals to get injured passengers the care they needed as fast as possible. It’s hard to overstate how incredibly quickly first responders and medical professionals coordinated across the state to get folks the help they needed.

It was an incredibly sad day, and my heart goes out to those involved and the families of those who lost their lives. It’s a day that many won’t soon forget. Yet, those who responded in big and small ways helped ease the burdens of those affected.

I won’t list out all the agencies and individuals who made a difference in the wake of Monday’s tragic accident because I’m sure I’ll leave far too many people out. Ultimately, the community came together in a monumental way—helping at the crash site, working at the school, even providing rides where folks needed to go—that barely scratches the surfaces of the thing’s folks jumped in to help with. The community made North Missouri proud, and for that, I’m grateful.


Sam Graves