On the night of December 23, 2000, a chartered Amtrak train smashes through a house that had stalled on the tracks during transport through Auburn. The freak accident occurs at 11:15 p.m. on a Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad crossing at 8th Street E. and the East Valley Highway. Several train passengers and house-moving workers sustain minor injuries, and the 2,200-square-foot bungalow is reduced to splinters.
Truck driver Jeffrey Ponder, owner of Emerald City Building Restoration, explained that the house had become entangled in traffic wires at the crossing. He told authorities that he had carefully reviewed the railroad schedule prior to planning the move. The train which rammed his truck and cargo was an unscheduled charter returning to Portland with Seahawks' fans. Ponder was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and with a suspended license; he denied both charges.
Christina Kelly, "Driver Moving House Says He Acted Properly," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, December 29, 2000, p. B-1.
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