5 dead, including 2 children, after train crashes into car crossing railroad tracks in
Five people are dead, including two children, after a train crashed into a car crossing railroad tracks in Hillsborough County, Florida Saturday evening.
A group in an SUV was on their way to a quinceañera at a home just across the railroad tracks when the train crashed into them at around 6:45 p.m. There were four males and three females in the car, and some were children, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
A witness parked by the tracks honked their horn to try and get the group’s attention.
“The SUV, we can see from the video begins to catapult and flip violently several times before it landed a distance from this crossing,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a news briefing Saturday night.
The railroad crossing area is not a very well-traveled and is marked with a stop sign encouraging people to stop and look both ways, according to Chronister.
Deputies and other first responders arrived on the scene after receiving a call about an accident near Jim Lefler Circle and U.S. route 92 in Plant City.
“This SUV that looks like a soft drink can that’s been smashed, it’s that horrible to see,” Chronister said.
Five passengers were “violently ejected from the SUV” and found dead at the scene. The victims were three females and two males, including at least two children who are believed to be 10 and 14 years old, according to Chronister.
First responders were able rescue two males, the driver and front passenger, from the car using the jaws of life. They were taken to a local hospital where they’re both “in critical and serious condition,” Chronister said.
The exact relationship between all seven passengers is not known at this time.
“The word devastating doesn’t even begin to describe the tragedy that unfolded here,” Chronister said. “Hillsborough County lost a family today, and our hearts are shattered.” The victims are all believed to be local Plant City residents.