A pastor and his wife died in North Carolina over the weekend when they drove their SUV into the path of an oncoming train.
Eugene and Dorothy Lyons, in their 60s, drove around a lowered crossing arm and into the path of an Amtrak train.
The train slammed into the vehicle, killing them both, authorities told WNCN.
A witness confirmed the sequence of events with police, though Whitakers Police Chief Darrell Cofield told the broadcaster that he isn’t sure why Dorothy Lyons drove around the crossing arm.
“It bothered me because growing up here I’ve seen train wrecks before, it really touches close to home with people who grew up with and know,” Cofield said.
However, officers told WRAL they believe Lyons was attempting to beat the train even after the crossing arms had been lowered.
The Amtrak train originated in New York City and was headed to Savannah when it hit the vehicle in Whitakers.
None of the 120 passengers on board were injured.