Brownsburg train collision involving two vehicles leaves 1 injured and 1 dead

December 3, 2019Hendricks County

A late-night pair of collisions near Brownsburg involving the same train has investigators searching for potential clues as to their cause.

According to authorities, the first of the two incidents occurred at 11:48 p.m. after a car driven by an unidentified person was hit by a train near the 6900 block of North County Road 900 East.

Members of the Hendricks County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the accident scene to find that the driver had sustained minor injuries as a result of this collision.

As rescue crews were working to remove the vehicle and debris of the first crash from the railroad tracks, a second report was received that another collision with the same train had occurred near the 8800 block of East County Road 700 North.

Investigators responding to the second collision were able to determine that this crash happened after the train had come to a stop following the first collision.

Unfortunately, the unidentified driver of the SUV in the second crash was fatally injured.

It is not known at this time if the train was speeding, or if there were other environmental factors that led to the initial collision, however, a quick view of the area on Google maps shows that neither of the crossing areas is controlled by electronic arms, gates, and/or lights.

Indiana has witnessed a number of train collisions involving passenger vehicles throughout recent years, however, they usually involve a single vehicle. The nature of this accident is not one that is commonly seen.

Causes of these accidents can vary wildly, though a great number of train accidents involving passenger vehicles are a result of one of the following:

  • Excessive train speed
  • Train derailment
  • Improperly marked crossing area
  • Malfunctioning train crossing signals
  • Failure to yield by the driver of a passenger vehicle

The facts and evidence surrounding these two accidents will need to be carefully reviewed by investigators to ensure that there is not a much bigger problem with these crossing areas, or if it is simply a case of unfortunate circumstances.

As the investigation continues and we learn more information about these incidents, we will bring the updates to you.

UPDATE – December 4, 2019

The driver involved in the second collision, which resulted in a fatality, was identified as 43-year-old Dennis Swanson of Brownsburg.

According to investigators, it is still unclear what caused the second collision to occur.

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