Investigation of southern Maine Amtrak collision could take months

Posted July 20, 2011, at 3:15 p.m.

NORTH BERWICK, Maine — The investigation into the cause of a fiery collision between Amtrak’s Downeaster and a tractor-trailer in southern Maine could take months to complete.

Two investigations are under way. One is being led by the Federal Railroad Administration. The other is being led by the North Berwick Police Department.

Police Chief Stephen Peasley isn’t venturing a guess as to how long his investigation will take. He said Wednesday he wasn’t in a position to release any additional information. The Federal Railroad Administration, meanwhile, says its investigations typically take six to nine months to complete.

The trucker, 35-year-old Peter Barnum of Farmington, N.H., was killed in the collision on July 11. Investigators say his tractor-trailer left more than 200 feet of skidmarks before the impact.