Spring Hill couple killed in crash with train after driving around rail crossing arms

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A Spring Hill couple killed in a fiery collision with a train Thanksgiving evening had driven around the rail crossing’s arms and got stuck on the tacks, a spokesman for the Miami County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

Union Pacific Railroad employees called 911 shortly after 6 p.m. Thursday and told dispatchers that a train had been involved in an injury crash with a car at the railroad crossing near Ridgeview and Wagstaff roads in rural Miami County, said Capt. Matthew Kelly in a news release.

When emergency crews arrived, they found the front of the train and a 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix about a half mile down the tracks from the intersection. The car was fully engulfed in flames and the front of the train engine was on fire, Kelly said.

A preliminary investigation found that the driver attempted to go around railroad crossing arms and the car became stuck on the tracks, Kelly said. The train struck the car and pushed it to its final stopping point.

Prior to stopping, the car caught fire, trapping the couple inside. The crash victims, who died at the scene, are believed to be an older couple from Spring Hill. Their identities, which need to be confirmed by a pathologist, have not been released.

All of the railroad equipment appears to have been working properly at the time of the crash, Kelly said.

The sheriff’s office continues to investigate the crash with the help of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and crime lab as well as Union Pacific Railroad Police. The Miami County EMS, Louisburg Fire Department and Johnson County Fire District No. 2 assisted with the crash scene.

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