CHICAGO (CBS) — A man and a woman were killed in Gary, Indiana, on Friday when their car was struck by a freight train.
The Gary Fire Department received a call about the crash shortly before 6 a.m. Officials said a car headed south on Lake Street was struck by a freight train headed east through a crossing near Miller Avenue.
Witnesses said a Dodge Charger went around the gates, then was hit by a CSX freight train and dragged about 50 yards.
“The train was coming, the gates were down, the lights were going, and it appeared to me that they didn’t even stop. They just went around the gates, and then I saw pieces of the vehicle flying. Not until after I called Gary PD did I realize that the car had been dragged down the tracks,” said one woman who asked to remain anonymous.
Law enforcement officials said two people were killed instantly when the train hit the car at a speed of approximately 60 mph.
Firefighters said the woman was driving.
The Lake County Coroner’s office identified the victims as 32-year-old William McCurry, of Chicago, and 29-year-old Renee McKenzie, of Gary.
It wasn’t the first time that particular crossing was the scene of a fatal crash between a car and a train. In July 2008, three people died when a car went around the crossing gates. A weather-beaten memorial to the two women and one man who died in that wreck still stands a short distance from Friday’s crash.