Authorities respond to car, train collision near Elton - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Three injured in car, train collision near Elton

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(Source: Louisiana State Police) (Source: Louisiana State Police)
(Source: Louisiana State Police) (Source: Louisiana State Police)
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ELTON, LA (KPLC) -

Louisiana State Police said a collision between an SUV and a train Tuesday morning near Elton sent three people to the hospital.

Authorities said two people, including a three-year-old child, suffered minor injuries. One person suffered moderate injuries.

The incident happened around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Sgt. James Anderson with Louisiana State Police, Troop D, said the crash involved a 2000 Ford Expedition SUV, driven by 32-year-old Pamela Thomas Thompson, of Elton.

Anderson said Thompson was traveling north on Liberty Cemetery Road just north of U.S. 190 when she drove into the path of a westbound Union Pacific freight train.  

Anderson said Thompson then placed the vehicle in reverse and attempted to back out of the path of the train.  

The SUV was reportedly struck by the train near the passenger side front tire and was pushed off the track.

Anderson said the SUV traveled 104-feet on a grassy area south of the railroad track before stopping.  

The train traveled approximately 4/10 of a mile after impact.

Thompson and a passenger in the vehicle, 26-year-old Jennifer Gentry, of Elton, were transported to area hospitals with moderate injuries.  

A 3-year-old child in the vehicle was transported to an area hospital with minor injuries.

No one in the vehicle was restrained, Anderson said.

A toxicology sample was obtained from Thompson for analysis.  

Anderson said Thompson was charged with failure to yield to a train, failure to wear a seatbelt, and no child restraint. The crash remains under investigation.

Anderson said the crash occurred at a crossing with no active warning devices (flashing lights, gates or bells). Anderson said, however, a railroad crossing sign and yield sign were present at the crossing. 

Troopers said state law requires motorists to yield the right of way to trains whether active wanting devices are present or not.

In 2011, nine people died and 68 were injured in train-vehicle collisions in Louisiana.

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