A road in Camarillo will be closed for most of Thursday afternoon after a freight train struck a sport utility vehicle that was on the tracks, killing the driver, authorities said.
The crash occurred about 8:30 a.m. at a crossing at South Las Posas Road and 5th Street, where the driver of a southbound 2014 Ford Explorer drove onto the tracks and was broadsided by an eastbound Union Pacific freight train hauling lumber, said California Highway Patrol Officer David Webb.
Authorities initially described the vehicle as a minivan. According to Ventura County firefighters, the collision sent the SUV rolling some 60-feet down the road and into a dirt ditch, where it landed on its rear end with its front side pointed to the sky.
The driver, described only as a 35-year-old man, was killed. Authorities had to use special equipment to remove his body from the crumpled vehicle.
The train was running a local hauling route from Somis to Oxnard and had only three people on board, said Ventura County Fire Department Capt. Mike Lindbery. No one on board was injured and the train had only minor damage and did not derail, officials said.
The area will be closed to traffic for a while, the CHP said. Investigators will test the train crossing's arms and lights to see if they were working properly and are interviewing people who saw the crash.
This is the second fatal crash on this stretch of rail in two months. About five miles east on 5th Street is a rail crossing at Rice Avenue, where in February a Metrolink train derailed after colliding with a pickup truck. More than two dozen people were injured in that crash and the train engineer eventually died from his injuries.