In Florida, a train hit a car at a crossing: 6 people died, including three children - ForumDaily
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In Florida, a train hit a car at a crossing: 6 people died, including three children

On the evening of September 23, a train crashed into an SUV at a railroad crossing in Florida. Six people died, including three children, reports USAToday.

Photo: IStock

Seven people in the SUV were heading to a quinceañera, a girl's 15th birthday party. They encountered a train at a railroad crossing marked with a stop sign and a crossing sign. There was no barrier or warning signal at the crossing in Plant City, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister.

"The word 'devastating' doesn't even begin to describe the tragedy that unfolded here," Chronister said.

The victims were a man, two women and three children, while another man was wounded and is now in critical condition in hospital. They were family members and two friends.

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The driver did not stop at the railway crossing

Video footage reviewed by investigators showed the SUV approaching the tracks and "slowly crawling along them" without stopping. Chronister said the train driver was trying to slow down and honked his horn, and a witness stopped in another vehicle nearby also honked his horn to get the attention of the driver of the SUV before the crash at about 18:45 p.m.

“As you can imagine what happens when a car and a train collide,” he said. “The SUV we see in the video rolls over several times before landing some distance away from this crossing.”

According to him, after the impact the car looked like a “broken iron can.”

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Chronister said he believed there were no barriers or signals at the crossing because it was on a road in a sparsely populated area.

Who are the victims

Five people who were "hardly extricated" from the car died, and a sixth died overnight at the hospital, the sheriff's office confirmed Sept. 23.
They were identified as the driver, 52-year-old Jose G. Hernandez, and passengers: Enedelia Hernandez, 50, Jakub A. Lopez, 17, Alyssa Hernandez, 17, Anaelia Hernandez, 22, and Julian Hernandez, 9.

The front seat passenger, 23-year-old Guillermo E. Gama III, survived and was hospitalized in critical condition.

Jessica Lange, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, said passengers in the vehicle driven by Jose Hernandez included his minor children, an adult child and two of the children's friends.

“Hillsborough County lost a family today and our hearts are broken,” Chronister said Sept. 23.

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All of the victims were residents of Plant City, about 40 miles from Tampa in central Florida, with a population of about 40 people.

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