COLUMBIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — One person was killed and a teen was seriously injured when a vehicle was struck by a train in rural northern Van Buren County.
The crash happened around 3:45 p.m. on 16th Avenue just west County Road 215 in Columbia Township, north of Breedsville.
According to the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office, an eastbound vehicle was struck on the driver’s side door by a southbound CSX freight train going about 40 mph. The impact threw the vehicle about 50 yards into a ditch.
The driver, 47-year-old Tiffany Glidden of Grand Junction, was dead by the time Columbia Township firefighters arrived.
Crews then had to use the Jaws of Life to free the back seat passenger, a 14-year-old boy who is also from Grand Junction. He was rushed to the hospital, where he was listed in serious but stable condition Thursday morning.
The sheriff’s department says there are warning signs about 100 yards and a yield sign before the crossing, but it doesn’t have gates or red flashing lights. Deputies say they found that the driver didn’t yield at the tracks and didn’t check to see if a train was coming before proceeding.
They are still investigating.