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Man killed in FrontRunner train crash

SUNSET, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A man is dead after a pick-up crashed into a FrontRunner train in Sunset Monday night.
SUNSET, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A man is dead after a pick-up crashed into a FrontRunner train in Sunset Monday night.

The FrontRunner train was heading south bound.  At the intersection of 1800 North, the driver in the truck drove around the down train arms but couldn't beat the train.  Going nearly 80 miles per hour, the train finally came to rest about four blocks south of the collision site.    

There were 18 passengers on the train.  One passenger was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.  The driver of the truck was killed at the scene.  Authorities have not released his name but say he was a 52 year old Sunset resident.

Authorities believe the driver of the truck was the only person in the car, but with a car seat inside, they're doing everything they can to confirm there were no other passengers. 

So far, investigators do not know why the man went around the crossing arms.  He did that four blocks north of where the train finally stopped.  FrontRunner trains are powerful machines and take quite a distance before they can stop.

Harvey Watkins from UHP said, "These drivers are very well trained and as soon as an incident like this happens they shut the train down.  Obviously with so much weight it takes some distance to slow that much weight."

Immediately following the accident the driver of the FrontRunner was put on administrative leave.  This is simply procedure, the driver will be given a drug and alcohol test and counseling.

Monday night's accident could have been prevented and UTA said that is the case with most of the problems they see.  UTA told ABC4 they don't know why the numbers are so high and they have put up signs to warn commuters.  They have also designed their system to be as safe as possible.  Despite these efforts, now four people have died in train involved accidents in the past 8 months.

Gerry Carpenter from UTA said, "This was a preventable accident.  These crossings have been upgraded and are as safe as they can be, it's important to obey the crossings when the arms are down, it means a train is coming."

FrontRunner trains can go up to 79 MPH and can take up to a mile to stop with the emergency brake.

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