Truck driver

Boy Scout comforts dying truck driver after collision with train in Missouri

A Boy Scout is hailed a hero after comforting a man in his final moments.

Eli Skrypczak and 15 other scouts were passengers on an Amtrak train that collided with a dump truck in rural Missouri on Monday.

According to Dan Skrypczak, his 15-year-old son Eli, who was one of the first to escape the wreckage, located the truck driver lying in a ditch and struggling to breathe.

“Eli held her hand and tried to stop some of the major bleeding,” Dan told TODAY Parents. “He handled the situation calmly and I’m extremely proud of him.”


An Amtrak train carrying more than 240 passengers collided with a dump truck in Missouri on Monday. Dax McDonald/AP

The driver, whose name has not been released, succumbed to his injuries shortly after first responders arrived at the scene. Eli then returned to the train to help injured and distressed passengers, Dan said.

“Eli is upset that he can’t do more. I keep telling him he did everything he could. The State Highway Patrol told him the same thing. There was nothing but he could have done to save him,” Dan said.

Eli Skrypczak, a 15-year-old boy scout, rushed to the aid of a dying <a class=truck driver after a train crash. ” height=”1875″ width=”2500″/>
Eli Skrypczak, a 15-year-old boy scout, rushed to the aid of a dying truck driver after a train crash. Courtesy of Dan Skrypczak

Dan, a troop leader, said Eli was just one of many brave scouts who sprang into action. There were also eight adult leaders on board.

“These children gave first aid and broke the windows so that people could get out. They comforted the crying children,” Dan explained. The young men, aged between 13 and 17, also emptied the debris from the cars so that the paramedics had a clear path.

“As a father and a scout leader, I’m incredibly proud,” Dan said.

Troop 12 provided first aid and comfort to passengers on the train.
Troop 12 provided first aid and comfort to passengers on the train.Scouts of America
Eli Skrypczak posed with his troop 73 earlier this month.
Eli Skrypczak posed with his troop 73 earlier this month.Scouts of America

Scott Armstrong, director of national media relations for the Boy Scouts of America, said Troops 12 and 73 from Appleton, Wisconsin. were returning home from a 10-day backpacking trip to New Mexico.

“When tragedy strikes, it’s always good to have a Boy Scout troop in your neighborhood,” Armstrong told TODAY. “A 15-year-old Scout is worth more when you’re in trouble than an adult without that past.”

Armstrong said the organization will provide mental health services to scouts and scout leaders affected by the accident.

Two people on the train were killed, in addition to the truck driver, NBC News reported. The collision derailed seven cars, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.