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CSX train strikes SUV, killing two, in Polk

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Published:   |   Updated: March 4, 2013 at 05:29 PM

Two people in an SUV were struck by a CSX train late Sunday and killed in a fiery crash in Polk County, troopers said.

The trainís horn was blaring and lighted railroad gates were activated at 11:40 p.m., when the 1998 Nissan Pathfinder crossed the tracks on Ewell Road, west of State Road 37, troopers said.

Both occupants of the Nissan were killed. They were not identified by troopers pending notification of family.

There were not reported injuries on the train, which had 75 cars and two engines.

The CSX train, operated by Thomas R. Krutulis, 62, of Tampa, was traveling north approaching Ewell Road. Jason Vaughn, 27, of Tampa was also onboard, troopers said.

The Nissan was traveling west on Ewell Road in the inside lane when the driver failed to stop for the approaching train, investigators said. At impact, the Nissan was propelled to the northwest off the tracks, then struck a railroad control junction box and caught fire.

The occupants were trapped in the vehicle and died.

Anyone who witnessed the crash was asked to call Corp. Jeffrey Komorowski with the Florida Highway Patrol at (863) 413-3510.

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