CHICAGO — Four people from the Chicago area who were found dead in an SUV that burst into flames after the vehicle hit a freight train early Wednesday in south suburban Phoenix have been identified, officials said.
The driver, Jeremy Robinson, 37, of Riverdale, and the passengers Xavier Moore, 23, of Chicago, Tieasha Rush, 28, of Chicago, and Jada Moore, 39, of Chicago were killed, said Jason Baumann, a spokesman for the city of Harvey and the Harvey police.
Harvey police and firefighters responded to the train tracks at East 155th Street and South Halsted Avenue after being contacted by Phoenix police around 2 a.m. for a report of a vehicle crashing into the last rail car of a moving CSX freight train, Baumann said.
For an unknown reason, the vehicle, a 2018 Dodge Durango, went through the protective gate that stops cars from going on the tracks and hit the last rail car of the train as it was passing by.
Baumann said the CSX freight train “was just about finished going through the tracks at that spot, and they hit the final end of the train.”
The SUV started on fire upon impact and was found in flames when authorities arrived. The fire was put out, and the four occupants were deceased.
The SUV was taken to the Harvey Police Department where victims were extricated from the vehicle. The Cook County medical examiner’s office was involved, and the families of the four who died have been notified.
No other injuries were reported, and Baumann said there are no signs of foul play.
Baumann said the Harvey police’s part in the investigation has concluded as of Wednesday afternoon, and the case has been returned to Phoenix police for processing.