MIAMI COUNTY, Kan. — Investigators spent Thursday night mapping out the scene in rural Miami County where earlier a train collided with a car, killing the driver and passenger.
According to the Miami County Sheriff's Office, shortly after 6 p.m., a Union Pacific train collided with a Pontiac Grand Prix at a railroad crossing on Wagstaff and Ridgeview Roads.
A preliminary investigation indicated that the drivers tried to drive around railroad crossing arms and got stuck in the crossing on the tracks.
"It was on the tracks, but we don’t know the reasoning of why it was on the tracks," said Capt. Matthew Kelly, a spokesperson for the Miami County Sheriff's Office. "We don't know if it was moving across the tracks [or] stopped on the tracks."
The violent collision set the car on fire and sent it about half a mile down the track.
As the train was coming to a stop the vehicle caught on fire which trapped the victims inside.
The man and woman inside the car died.
Firefighters from several agencies also put out a fire on the train engine, but no one on board was hurt.
Besides the bells and flashing lights, there are arms at the crossing.
"We don’t believe that there’s any malfunctions that occurred at this intersection at the time," Kelly said. "However, we’re not sure if the arms were down after the accident occurred or if the vehicle was there prior to the arms going down. If they went around it is something that we’re trying to figure out."
Investigators from the Johnson County Sheriff's Office are also assisting in this Thanksgiving Day crash.
Authorities said the train wasn’t carrying anything hazardous at the time of the incident.
RIGHT NOW: This @UnionPacific train collided with a sedan at a crossing near Wagstaff & Ridgeview Roads in rural @MiamiCountyKS.— Andres Gutierrez (@AFGutierrez) November 26, 2021
The impact engulfed the car, killing the driver and passenger.
No injuries on board the train despite its engine also caught fire.@KSHB41 pic.twitter.com/Zcm3SMqzua
The victims in the case appear to be an elderly couple from Spring Hill, Kansas, but a pathologist will still need to confirm that.