An 80-year-old woman was killed at approximately 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, when her vehicle was struck by a freight train on Olive Avenue, near Golden State Boulevard.
The Turlock woman was driving a gold or light brown sedan when struck by the train. The specific make or model of the car is unknown, and the victim's name is not being released.
According to Union Pacific representatives, a southbound Union Pacific freight train hit an automobile that drove around railroad gates that were in the down position at the Olive Avenue and First Street crossing. The train crew was unhurt, but has been placed into a peer support program to help deal with the traumatic event.
“The incident is under investigation,” said Aaron Hunt, director of corporate relations and media for Union Pacific. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of the adult female who passed away as a result of this accident.”
Turlock Police spokesperson Mayra Lewis confirmed that the vehicle was traveling eastbound on Olive Avenue, trying to cross the railroad tracks when struck by the train. It remains unknown why the woman attempted to cross the tracks.
According to staff at the Family Pet Mortuary, located near the accident, brakes could be heard screeching from inside the building. The accident “sounded bad right from the start,” they said.
The Main Street, Olive Avenue, and Canal Drive railroad crossings are all closed as a result of the incident. The closures are expected to last several hours. Motorists are advised to use either the Fulkerth Road or Golf Road railroad crossings.
Turlock Police, Fire, and ambulances responded to the collision, as well as the Turlock Police Major Accident Investigation Team. The crime scene investigation is currently ongoing, and no further information has been released.