A woman died after a freight train hit her car near Casa Grande, pushing it a half a mile down the tracks. Casa Grande Police are not yet releasing the name of the victim, who police said lived in the area.
Police were called around 6 p.m. A Union Pacific train hit the sedan at the Montgomery Crossing, which is in a rural area between Maricopa and Casa Grande.
The crossing is marked with warning signs along the Casa Grande Maricopa Highway.
The gates at the crossing were closed when the train hit the car, according to Commander J. Kent Horn.
Investigators are not sure why the woman was on the tracks. The conductor and engineer on the train were not injured. The woman was the only person in the car.
"With the weight and mass of that train, this is the stopping distance,"
Horn said, referring to the half-mile between the point of impact at the crossing and the spot where the train came to a stop. As of 8:30 p.m., the car was still trapped under the train.
Investigators say they will be processing the scene into the night. The tracks will remain closed for several hours.
How and why did this happen? Were the safety devices adequate? Were they working? Was the victim stalled? Warnings? Opportunity to avoid?
There are so many questions to answer. A expedient and thorough investigation is mandatory here. We cannot rely upon the owners of the train or tracks, or the governmental agencies to determine and disclose what really happened.
The family of the car driver needs a train accident lawyer who represents accident victims, and families of accident victims. Evidence gets misplaced, "lost" and destroyed. This family should seek immediate assistance, so they can know what really happened here, and determine if they have any further rights that need to be protected.