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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Louisville Metro Police are investigating a collision in which a car struck a train, killing one man and setting the car on fire. A passer-by, Dwayne Martin, wasn't able to pull the man from the burning car: "I've never seen nothing like this before in my life. And what hurts me the most is I couldn't save him."
The coroner's office says 80-year-old Jimmie L. Roberson of South 32nd Street was pronounced dead at the scene of his injuries from the crash and burns.
It happened at 25th and Standard, west of Dixie Highway, about 1 p.m. LMPD spokesperson Dwight Mitchell says the railroad crossing had flashing red lights but no crossing gates.
Police are also investigating the site where the train ended up, at 32nd Street and Larkwood Avenue, which runs parallel to the Shawnee Expressway. The Norfolk Southern train crew says they did not know the train had been struck at first.
Martin says when he arrived, the man was still alive: "And I reached in there for him and said, 'Give me your hand,' and when I reached to go try to pull him, he was stuck in the seat belt."Martin says he begged another motorist for a knife to cut the seat belt. By then it was too late...he put his hands up and laid over and just started burning."
It happened Wednesday afternoon; by the time police and EMTs arrived, as Martin said, it was too late.
"Apparently the driver of the vehicle received fatal injuries and was pronounced dead on the scene," says Mitchell.
LMPD's traffic unit is investigating the crash and believe the victim actually ran into the moving train, but they still don't know why. Mitchell says, "Obviously it is always dangerous to try to pass a train, generally that's not going to be a good outcome for anyone that's in the situation and unfortunately that's the case here."
"Lord knows I tried to save that man, man. I just watched him burn," says Martin.
Meanwhile, Martin is still struggling with what he saw and the outcome. He says, "I've never seen nothing like this before in my life. And what hurts me the most is I couldn't save him; I couldn't save him."