Five people, including two children, have tragically died in a collision between an SUV and a train in Florida on Saturday night. The incident occurred shortly before 7 p.m. at US-92 and Jim Lefler Circle in Plant City, as reported by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Chad Chronister described the wreckage as resembling a crushed soft drink can, expressing the horror he felt at the scene. The first emergency call came from an iPhone with crash detection.
Upon receiving the call, deputies and first responders promptly arrived at the crash site. They utilized the jaws of life to extract the driver and front passenger from the SUV, who were then rushed to the hospital. Currently, their conditions are listed as serious and critical. Tragically, the remaining five passengers were violently ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead on the spot. Chronister revealed that a witness had attempted to alert the driver to avoid crossing the tracks by honking their horn. However, footage of the incident shows the SUV being flung and flipping multiple times before landing some distance away from the crossing, which was merely marked by a stop sign.
Chronister expressed his grief, stating that he believes Hillsborough County has lost an entire family. The sheriff requested prayers for the first responders and deputies who had to endure the devastating wreckage. He further asked for support for the loved ones affected by the tragedy. Investigators are currently piecing together the relationship between the seven individuals involved in the crash, four males and three females. It has been revealed that two of them were children. The exact reasons behind the vehicle entering the train’s path remain unknown, and detectives are working diligently to identify all seven individuals.
According to Chronister, it is believed that the victims were locals en route to a quinceañera, a 15th birthday party, which was taking place in a home across the railroad tracks. The sheriff’s office continues to investigate the incident, focusing on unravelling the cause of this heartbreaking collision.