Northland man killed in train derailment was traveling with 11 relatives for summer vacation

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 10:07 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - An 82-year-old man from the Northland who died in Monday’s Amtrak derailment was with 11 other family members en route to Chicago for summer vacation.

That’s according Sam Wendt, a lawyer hired by the man’s family.

He called Binh Phan the patriarch of the family and the eldest of the family members traveling together that day, the youngest of which was 18-months old.

“Hearing them talk about him as a family, you get the sense that they’re a very close family,” Wendt said.

Wendt recently sat down with the family to get a detailed account of what happened.

“From start to finish, it was unimaginable,” he said.

By now, you’ve probably seen video of how people escaped the overturned rail cars by climbing through windows, which were above them because the train was on it’s side. Wendt said several family members had to assist to get Phan out.

“Passing their injured father through the window as an example, staying on top of the train, which again was the side since it was on its side, for up to 30 minutes until rescuers could get there,” he said as he recounted multiple things the family endured.

He recounted that Phan was telling family members his chest hurt, that he was tired, which he said is consistent with internal injuries.

An air ambulance took Phan to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Wendt said the other family members on the train were all hurt to varying degrees, some still getting medical care. Obviously, they are hurting emotionally as well.

“I think it will be quite some time before they’re able to kind of get back to some level of normalcy,” Wendt said.

He has not yet filed a lawsuit. He said he likely will, on behalf of several relatives, but wants to see the investigation get further underway before doing that.

Previous coverage:

Train derailment: Amtrak, BNSF sue company that owned dump truck

Train derailment: GoFundMe for De Soto victims tops $17,000 in just a day

NTSB is looking into intersection where train derailment happened

Four people killed in fatal Amtrak crash identified