Three Austell residents were killed Friday night when an Amtrak train hit their car in Toccoa, police said.
The wreck happened around 9:45 p.m. when the northbound train collided with the car outside a subdivision on Grant Smith Road in Toccoa in northeast Georgia.
All three people in the car were killed when the train T-boned the 2008 Mazda, Stephens County Sheriff Randy Shirley said. Shirley told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the car was attempting to go through an unprotected railroad crossing that was marked only with a stop sign.
Shirley called it a “violent crash” and said the train, which was going about 60 mph at the time of impact, pushed the car about 300 feet. The car then overturned, fell into a ravine and caught fire, the sheriff said.
The victims — a male and two females in their 20s — were on their way to visit a family in Toccoa, Shirley said. He said their names were being withheld pending notification of kin. The victims’ bodies have been taken to the GBI crime lab in Atlanta, Shirley said.
He said there was no indication that drugs or alcohol were involved and that there were no injuries on the train, which was headed to Washington from New Orleans.
The conductor told police that the car stopped just after crossing the first set of tracks, then tried to get across the second set of tracks when the crash occurred, the sheriff said.