3 killed after Amtrak collides with SUV in South Carolina

An Amtrak train carrying nearly 500 passengers collided with an SUV at a South Carolina rail crossing before dawn Saturday, leaving three of the SUV’s four occupants dead, authorities said. None of the train’s passengers or crew were hurt, Amtrak said.

The North Charleston Fire Department said the SUV was heavily damaged when police arrived at the marked crossing early Saturday after the collision was first reported to emergency dispatchers shortly before 2:30 a.m.

Three of the dead in the vehicle were pronounced dead at the scene, and a fourth person was taken to a hospital. None of the four were identified and there was no immediate update on the condition of the survivor.

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Amtrak spokesperson Olivia Irvin said in an email that Auto Train 53 was traveling from Lorton, Virginia, just outside the nation’s capital, to Sanford, Florida. Twelve of its cars had passengers.

There were 474 passengers but no reported injuries on board, Irvin wrote. The Amtrak train was able to make a controlled emergency stop after the collision.

The train was delayed for several hours and resumed its journey just before 8:30 a.m.

Damage to the train is being assessed by Amtrak representatives. The North Charleston Police Department and CSX Transportation are investigating the cause of the crash.

Asked for further details of the collision, a North Charleston police spokesman, Harvey Jacobs, emailed Saturday evening that his agency would have no additional comment until the investigation is complete.