Police are looking for witnesses to a deadly collision Sunday night that involved a BNSF Railway train and a vehicle.
According to a news release from the Vancouver Police Department, at approximately 9 p.m. law enforcement responded to the report of a train versus vehicle crash at the 19700 block of Southeast Evergreen Highway, approximately 3.5 miles west of Camas.
Officers with the VPD located a vehicle that appeared to have been struck by a train. The car’s single occupant, a male, was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the VPD the victim has been identified, but his name will not be released until family members are notified.
BNSF Spokesman Gus Melonas said Monday morning that the empty eastbound grain train, which originated in Vancouver, was traveling at approximately 44 mph.
“Initial reports are that the vehicle was positioned on, or just off the crossing,” he said. “It appears as if the lone occupant was slouched over inside the vehicle on the driver’s side, however, we are investigating further.”
According to Melonas, the private crossing is equipped with warning devices, including flashing lights and gates. Train operators are not required to sound horns at private crossings, but prior to yesterday’s collision engineers activated the train’s horns and emergency brake.
Melonas said neither member of the two-person crew was injured. The train did not derail, and the line was re-opened at 11:30 p.m. Four trains scheduled to travel that section of the Columbia River Gorge main line were delayed. Each day, between 30 and 35 trains typically use the line.
Emergency assistance was provided at the scene by the Vancouver Fire Department, Camas-Washougal Fire Department, BNSF police and American Medical Response.
BNSF police are conducting the investigation. Anyone who witnessed the collision should call the railway’s dispatch center at 1-800-832-5452.