FRESNO, Calif. — Four young people were killed and another was injured after their car drove into the path of a freight train, authorities said.
The two men and two women who were killed ranged in age from 18 to 21 and were all in a Chevrolet sedan that drove onto the tracks and was broadsided by the train Monday, California Highway Patrol officer Scott Jobinger said.
The lone survivor, Alexandra Sanchez, 20, of Fresno, was in serious condition at Community Regional Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Mary Lisa Russell said.
Those killed include an 18-year-old woman and men ages 20 and 21, all from Fresno, and the 20-year-old woman from nearby Sanger who was driving. Their names were withheld while authorities notified relatives.
The Union Pacific train that struck their car was traveling about 40 mph and was sounding its horns and had its headlights on when it hit the 2002 Chevy Lumina at about 1:45 a.m., Jobinger said.
The freight train – which included 103 cars and three engines – started to brake immediately after the collision. It stopped a quarter mile north of the crash and did not derail, Jobinger said.
The crash happened at a private railroad crossing, with a stop sign and painted stop lines that were well maintained, but without crossing arms or lights, Jobinger said.
It was unclear why the collision occurred, and drugs or alcohol were not believed to be factors, investigators said.