HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Huntsville emergency crews say two people died during a collision between a train and a vehicle at the Moores Mill Rd. near Stanwood Blvd. NE railroad crossing. Police said the driver did not stop as the train approached the area.
Tyler Berryhill, Madison County Deputy Coroner, identified the vehicle's driver as Derek Collier, 34, of Huntsville and the passenger as Sarah McCallum, 26, of Huntsville. Officials say they received a call around 6:00 a.m. about the crash. Both people were pronounced dead at the scene.
When officials arrived, they said the vehicle had been knocked off the tracks and was engulfed in flames. Authorities say that they initially could not even identify the car because of the amount of damage to it.
The road was shut down for several hours while crews cleared the scene. Huntsville Police Department put out an alert around 7:50 a.m. that Moores Mill Rd. at that location was closed northbound and southbound due to a traffic accident. As of 2:48 p.m. the road has been reopened according to another alert from Huntsville Police.
Huntsville Police said that Collier had been driving his 2016 Chevrolet Camaro East on US Hwy 72 East at a high speed, with Sarah McCallum in the front seat. Witnesses told police that Collier was driving erratically and almost struck a motorcycle as it approached the intersection of US Hwy 72 E and Moores Mill Rd.
Police said that Collier did stop at the red light at Moores Mill Road, but he stopped in the center of the road. When the light was green, he headed North onto Moores Mill Road at the same time the Norfolk Southern train was coming through.
Police stated that Collier did not slow down or attempt to stop and struck the lead locomotive near the front stairwell. The car was pushed off the road and caught fire.
The Huntsville Police investigation continues with assistance from ALEA and Norfolk Southern Rail Road Police.