PHOTOS: Teenagers' joyride onto tracks delays Amtrak passenger train's arrival into White River Junction

Incident took place within sight of the train station's passenger platform

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - Two young teenagers who took a relative's pickup truck for a joyride around Ratcliff Park late Saturday afternoon ended up stuck on the nearby railroad tracks a few minutes later, forcing Saturday night's northbound Amtrak passenger train to a halt a half-mile short of the downtown.

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    The incident began around 6 p.m. when neighbors called police reporting what appeared to be a possible drunk driver who'd ridden right over a bush in Ratcliff Park in a large black pickup.

    Police were checking around the park and the Nutt Lane crossing a few minutes later when they spotted the truck hung up on a steep slope leading to the tracks beside the sharp curve in the middle of Latham Works Lane.

    Hartford Police Officer Logan Scelza said no one was with the truck when police arrived but they quickly located two boys, ages 13 and 15, who live in the area and who ultimately gave differing accounts as to who was driving when.  

    "There's not much we can do about this under Vermont law," Scelza said, adding that it was just lucky that the truck wasn't further into the path of the railroad trains that frequently roll through the downtown and that no one was hurt.  

    There was no alcohol involved and the whole joyride only lasted a few minutes but, Scelza noted, "How long it lasted is not the point in a case like this.  This could have been a whole lot worse."

    The boys were issued traffic tickets for driving without a license and once the truck was towed clear of the railroad right-of-way the Vermonter proceeded into the White River Junction Depot, arriving just before 7 p.m., a half-hour behind schedule.

The truck left Latham Works on the sharp curve behind the railroad's large white road salt shed

The Nutt Lane crossing off South Main Street is one of the busiest in the region and is used twice a day by Amtrak

Legendary Auto Works towed away the large pickup truck which had not sustained any apparent damage

Hartford Police Officers Logan Scelza and Josh Reyes wrote the boys traffic tickets for driving despite not having licenses

Vermont News can be contacted at


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