Two people were killed when a train and a vehicle collided in unincorporated Douglas County in the early afternoon of May 15, according to Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Steve Johnson.
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The coroner's office has identified the victims as Salah Norri Slaeh Aladhamee, a 68-year-old male from Thornton, and his 16-year-old son, Noori Salah Noori Aladhamee.
The crash happened at 12:48 p.m. on Highway 85, just south of Ron King Trail, the sheriff's office reported. The area is south of Highlands Ranch and northeast of Louviers.
The vehicle was struck at a roadway entrance to an auto salvage yard off Highway 85, Johnson said in a press conference at the scene. The car was pushed about 1,500 yards on the train track, Johnson said. Both of the people who died were in the vehicle. No other injuries were reported.
"We need to make sure that we discover all the possibilities as to why this vehicle ended up on the track south of us at the nearest roadway where it was," Johnson said.
Trains are governed to 45 mph along the stretch, said Johnson, adding that there is no indication of excessive speed.
Johnson confirmed that the train was occupied by more than one person. The train used its horn and "did everything it could to warn the driver," he said.
The sheriff's office was talking to witnesses of the crash and looking at security footage from the auto salvage yard, according to Johnson.
"We are in the very early stages of the investigation," he said. "We are going to take this in a very slow and methodical fashion, and work with the railroad and manufacturer of the vehicle."
Johnson reminds citizens to look twice before crossing a gated or ungated railroad crossing.
"These are humongous trains and they don’t stop on a dime like our cars," he said.
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