Robert Sumwalt III, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board and a Columbia native, is heading to the Midlands in response to the Amtrak crash in Cayce, Gov. Henry McMaster said.
Sumwalt, of Columbia’s Heathwood neighborhood, was nominated to lead the agency by President Donald Trump, confirmed by the U.S. Senate and sworn in in August.
He began his tenure with NTSB in 2006 when then-President George W. Bush appointed him to vice chairman of the board.
Sumwalt is best known for acting as NTSB’s spokesman after the fatal 2015 derailment of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia.
A graduate of Dreher High School and the University of South Carolina, Sumwalt spent years as a pilot for Piedmont Airlines and U.S. Airways. He later headed the aviation department of SCANA.
A Sunday morning crash involving an Amtrak passenger train and a freight train in Cayce killed at least two people and 116 were taken to local hospitals.