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NY Man Takes Responsibility For Mich. Amtrak Crash

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(credit: CITIZEN PATRIOT / J. SCOTT PARK)

(credit: CITIZEN PATRIOT / J. SCOTT PARK)

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JACKSON (WWJ/AP) - A New York semi-truck driver has admitted responsibility and been fined for a February Amtrak crash in southern Michigan.

A Jackson County District judge issued a $450 fine to David Zimmer on Friday. The 68-year-old from Saugerties, N.Y., admitted responsibility for the crash during a hearing June 11. An attorney made the plea on behalf of Zimmer, who didn’t appear.

Zimmer was cited for not having sufficient clearance to cross the tracks, a civil infraction that results in a 60-day suspension of his commercial driver’s license and a $296 fine, Mlive.com reported.

Zimmer reportedly refused to pay the ticket at first, saying he would “fight this ticket to the end,” and claimed blame should be placed on lack of signs.

On Feb. 1, a Chicago-bound Amtrak train crashed into Zimmer’s truck, which was stuck on the tracks at a crossing in Leoni Township.

At the time of the incident there were 68 passengers and five crew members aboard the train, which consisted of two locomotives and six railcars.

One of the train’s locomotives, a dining car and a passenger car derailed. Ten people suffered minor injuries.

According to reports submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration, the derailment caused nearly $2.3 million in damages.

The damage estimate included $2.2 million to equipment, $37,000 to the track and $50,000 to a semi-truck that was stuck on the tracks and hit by the train.

TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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