Update: 2 dead and 2 injured in Saturday's train crash were JCPS students
Chita Chuwan, 16, and Suk Man Rai, 19, were pronounced dead at the scene at 4:09 p.m., according to the coroner.
Chuwan was the front seat passenger, and Rai was the back seat passenger on the right.
Both died of multiple blunt force injuries.
“All I heard was glass breaking - the bumper flying off on the other side of the crossing,” Anthony Collman told WDRB News.
As train enthusiasts, Collman and Logan Bennett were photographing the passing train and ended up witnessing the whole crash and catching it on camera. In their video, the train can be seen coming down the tracks. The train horn and crossing signals easily heard, but for the white car and its four passengers, it wasn't enough.
“It was just very devastating, eerie kind of feeling when that took place. I've never seen anything like that or witnessed it before,” said Collman.
The car was pushed in front of the train for about half a mile according to police. Two passengers were killed and police say two others were taken to the hospital where they were listed in critical condition.
JCPS officials confirmed to WDRB's Toni Konz that all four passengers in the car were JCPS students.
Chuwan attended Seneca High School, and Rai attended Fern Creek High School.
The other two passengers, who suffered serious injuries, attend Waggener and Iroquois High School.
Officials say grief counselors will be available at school on Monday.
“Preliminary investigation reveals that a white Toyota that was attempting to cross the train tracks apparently disregarded the traffic control signs in the area and was struck by a Union Pacific train,” said LMPD Spokesman Dwight Mitchell.
“The car did not slow down whatsoever. I did not see any brake lights whatsoever on the car,” Collman said.
The initial impact happened at the Buechel and Crawford Avenues crossing, closing many streets along the tracks for hours. Those witnessing the car being pushed along at 43 miles per hour before coming to a stop, say they are left in shock.
“First when it happened, you're like… you kind of step back and what just happened?” said Senid Begic.
Collman says a bigger issue needs to be addressed.
“There needs to be crossing gates because of the curvature of this road. There needs to be gates put at this crossing,” said Collman.
Collman adds lights and signal horns just aren't enough.
The LMPD Traffic Unit is investigating the crash.
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