An elderly couple were killed in a crash involving a train in rural Kansas on Thursday night as they returned home from their family’s Thanksgiving dinner, local officials said.
At around 6:30 p.m. local time on Thursday, authorities believe a slow freight train struck the couple in their vehicle in Miami County.
The vehicle was pushed a considerable distance along the tracks as the train attempted to stop. At one point, the vehicle caught fire, officials told KCTV.
The elderly victims, from the Kansas City metro area, were on their way home after Thanksgiving dinner when the crash happened. Their adult son reportedly attended the scene after the accident.
“It’s an emotional call to anyone involved in this,” Miami County Sheriff’s Office Captain Matthew Kelly said, according to KCTV. “Not just for the family but also for us on stage. No one wants to go to these calls. These are very traumatic for anyone involved. Anyone who has anything to do with it. I think that makes a vacation like this even more traumatic.
He said his service contacted the victim’s family to offer assistance.
The investigation – which will include checking that the railway tracks and crossing lights are functioning properly – is ongoing, officials said.