According to a news release, six people, including three children, are dead after a train crashed into their SUV sitting on the tracks at a railroad crossing near Tampa, Fla. on Saturday evening. Hillsborough County Sherif Chad Chronister shared during a press conference that seven people were inside a Cadillac Escalade when the crash happened, with five of the passengers being “violenting ejected” from the vehicle upon impact.
Video on the front of the freight train showed the driver approaching the crossing in the area of Highway 92 and Jim Lefler Circle in Plant City, which reportedly wasn’t signalized. However, instead of yielding at the posted stop sign, Chronister said the driver slowly crawled across the tracks. Sheriff Chronister said: “the conductor of the train did everything he could to try to slow this train down. He signaled these loud train horns that they’re equipped with along with the flashing lights. We know that even from the witness that was parked by the tracks that he also was hitting the horn of his vehicle – all trying to get the driver’s attention and get [them] to stop and look both ways.” Once the train collided with the SUV, the vehicle reportedly catapulted and flipped multiple times before landing a distance away from its origin.
The driver and front passenger were rescued from within the car, according to Chronister, and were taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. It was later announced Sunday morning that the driver died from his injuries and was identified as 52-year-old Jose G. Hernandez. The other victims of the crash were also identified: Enedelia Hernandez, 51; Jakub A. Lopez, 17; Alyssa Hernandez, 17; Anaelia Hernandez, 22; and Julian Hernandez, 9. One passenger remains hospitalized in critical condition and was identified as 23-year-old Guillermo Gama.
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