ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – State police are investigating a deadly crash involving the Rail Runner. Police said two people have died after the car they were in collided with the southbound Rail Runner train.
The victim’s families tell KRQE News 13 the two people were a couple in their 30’s. They say the two have a 5-year-old and newborn. The kids were not in the car during the collision.
The crash happened just before 7:30 a.m. off of Second Street and Desert Road in the south valley. State police were on scene and closed off the area while they investigated. The road has since been reopened.
Rail Runner officials said they have looked at surveillance video captured by the train. Right now they said the crash may have happened because the driver was in a hurry.
“It appears that the vehicle may have tried to get around traffic that was waiting at the gate, and cross through the arms that were down,” Augusta Meyers, communications manager for New Mexico Rail Runner Express, said.
Police have identified the victims as 34-year-old Julie Vasquez and 35-year-old Luciano Cuellar.
This is the 15th person killed by a Rail Runner train since 2006.
Two Santa Fe bicyclists were kit and killed by a train earlier this year.
Since then, the train service has implemented new safety measures.
It has added guards at five crossings and slowed down trains running through town.
Thirty-five people were on board the Rail Runner train at the time of the crash.
No one on the train was injured.
The passengers were bussed to their destinations.
Rail Runner officials say the train operator has been sent home for three days with paid leave.