Tragic Crash between Freight Train and Pickup Truck Leaves Five Dead in Plant City
PLANT CITY, Florida – A horrifying collision between a freight train and a pickup truck resulted in the deaths of at least five people on Saturday afternoon in Plant City.
The catastrophic accident took place just before 7:00 pm at the intersection of US-92 and Jim Lefler Circle, when the pickup truck was struck by a train, authorities reported.
Describing the indescribable scene, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister expressed his devastation during a press conference. “Calling the event as devastating does not do justice to the tragedy that occurred behind my patrol car,” said Chronister. “The vehicle looks like a crushed soda can, it’s very difficult to see.”
The victims have been identified by the sheriff’s office as Enedelia Hernández, 50 years old, Jakub López, 17 years old, Alyssa Hernández, 17 years old, Anaelia Hernández, 22 years old, and Julián Hernández, 9 years old. Heartbreakingly, all five individuals were ejected from the truck and succumbed to their injuries.
Two other occupants of the vehicle were rescued using hydraulic tools and rushed to a nearby hospital. Tragically, it was confirmed on Sunday morning that the driver, José G. Hernández, had also tragically lost his life at the medical institution. The passenger remains in critical condition.
Authorities revealed that the group was en route to a party at a nearby ranch, where a quinceañera celebration was taking place. The collision occurred at an intersection lacking any barriers to stop vehicles, with only signs and a loudspeaker warning of oncoming trains, police stated.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and Medical Examiner’s Office are working tirelessly to officially identify all of the victims involved in this devastating incident.
As the Plant City community mourns the loss of these precious lives, questions are being raised about the safety measures implemented at the intersection. Local residents and officials are urging authorities to evaluate the need for additional safety precautions, such as barriers or improved warnings, to prevent future accidents.
The investigation into the crash is ongoing, and authorities are appealing for any witnesses or individuals with information to come forward and assist in determining the circumstances leading up to this tragic event.
The Plant City community and surrounding areas are encouraged to come together during this difficult time to offer support and comfort to the grieving families who have been shattered by this devastating accident.