Letters from Appleton Boy Scouts describe their experiences after Amtrak derailment

A Boy Scouts executive shared some of their letters
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 10:23 PM CDT
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FOX CROSSING, Wis. (WBAY) - A day after arriving home from Missouri, all 16 Appleton Boy Scouts involved in Monday’s Amtrak train derailment wrote letters in an effort to document some of their thoughts.

We expect to hear more from the Boy Scouts on Thursday. Wednesday, the organization shared with us some emotional letters highlighting the danger and the sense of urgency.

Jason Splinter, the Boy Scouts’ Gathering Waters District executive, read from a few.

“‘Somebody yelled, help, we need help, saying we need more people to help. Somebody else was yelling that’ -- this is from a scout. He hesitated -- ‘After seeing no one else going down to help, I climbed down onto the car. I saw a little boy in the back and I told him to come over to me. I then lifted them up to another gentlemen on top of the train.’”

Another letter came from the Boy Scout who comforted the dump truck driver who was struck by the train at the uncontrolled, rural crossing, leading to the derailment.

“He got to the first responder, and the police officer came and he aided him until the truck driver passed. After that, he started carrying kids and adults out of the train cars.”

Many of the letters were backed up by others at the scene also helping with the rescue.

“‘I carried people into buses and I made sure people were stabilized if they needed to be,’” Splinter read. “I’ve heard this exact thing from a first responder on the scene who messaged us here at the council and from a firefighter at the scene that these things happened.”

We’ve learned that the cost of the private plane chartered to bring the scouts back to Wisconsin was covered by a donor. The Boy Scouts organization would not reveal who that was.

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