Boy Scout Eli Skrypczak comforted dying truck driver after train derailment in Missouri

A Wisconsin Boy Scout on the Amtrak train that derailed when it collided with a dump truck in Missouri comforted the truck driver before the man died, the Boy Scout’s father told the Post.

Appleton Troop 73 scout master Dan Skrypczak said in an interview Monday night his 15-year-old son Eli rushed to the driver’s side after escaping the mangled train and finding the man lying in a ditch.

“He’s fine. Now that the adrenaline has gone he’s shattered,” Skrypczak said of his son. “When we finally spoke to him he was quite upset, he wished he could have done more.”

“I’m just trying to explain to him that you’re being hit by a bullet train, there wasn’t much anyone could have done for the truck driver. He did everything he could, he did the right thing, he gave comfort and help.”

Eli and 15 other Boy Scouts and eight adult guides were on the Los Angeles-Chicago train when the train struck the truck at a public intersection. The two Boy Scout troopers were heading home to Wisconsin after a 10-day trip upstate New Mexico, said Skrypczak, who was not on the trip.

Scouts take crew photos in front of the Tooth of Time at Philmont Scout Ranch on June 19, 2022.
Several of the scouts on the trip jumped into action to help passengers after the Amtrak crash.

According to officials and Skrypczak, the driver’s death was one of three fatalities in the collision, while dozens were injured, including three of the adult leaders and a scout.

The train carried 243 passengers and 12 crew members.

An Amtrak train is derailed after the train departed on Monday, March 27.
An Amtrak train derailed after the train struck a truck at an intersection near Mendon, Mo, on June 27, 2022.

Skrypczak said his son found the man in a ditch and called a state patrol officer when first responders arrived at the scene. They tried to stabilize him, but the man succumbed to his injuries, the father said.

“He’s a typical 15-year-old, he thinks he’s Superman, could have saved that guy,” the father said.

A police officer inspects the crime scene of an Amtrak train arriving Monday, March 27.
The Amtrak train was traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago when it collided with the truck at a public intersection.

Later, while the passengers were being helped off the train, a woman who apparently knew the driver came and wanted to see his veiled remains, Skrypczak said.

“He said a lady was really upset and they wouldn’t let her see the body … but that shook him too,” he said of his teenage son.

Workers inspect the crime scene of an Amtrak train that derailed Monday, June 27, 2022 near Mendon, Missouri after hitting a dump truck (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
The truck driver’s death was one of three deaths killed in the accident.

Eli, who has been a Boy Scout since first grade, was one of several Boy Scouts who took action to help passengers after the derailment, Skrypczak said. A handful managed to get off the train and then helped out wherever they could.

The scouts were spread out across the train, including in their seats, in the dining room and on the observation deck, he was told.

A scout was actually stuck in a train toilet for 35 minutes, pinned by the weight of one of the passengers who died in the incident, and stood against the door, Skrypczak said.

He heard some of the scouts were helping first responders immobilize passengers as they were placed on backboards and sent to ambulances.

Facebook photos posted by Amanda Diehl Drinkard show the scene of an Amtrak derailment near Kansas City on a train traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles on Monday, June 27, 2022. (Facebook/Amanda Diehl Drinkard) https://www.
According to officials and Skrypczak, dozens were injured as a result of the crash, including three of the adult leaders and a scout.
Facebook/Amanda Diehl Drinkard

“Any Scout leader sees that the kids stay calm and are part of the solution rather than the emergency itself, I think any Scout leader would be proud of that,” Skrypczak said. “And I am.”

“I’m very, very happy with how they acted, how they acted in this situation,” he said. “Obviously very sad that it happened and I can’t wait to hug my child.” Boy Scout Eli Skrypczak comforted dying truck driver after train derailment in Missouri


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