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3 dead after freight train hits car in Oregon

The vehicle was carrying four passengers, and authorities believe the driver, who was killed, failed to obey a traffic control device before the crash.

Three people are dead after a freight train crashed into a car attempting to cross railway tracks north of Salem, Oregon, authorities said on Thursday.

The vehicle, a 2002 Honda, was carrying four people when it was hit by the freight train on Wednesday, the Marion County Sheriff's Office said in a news release. Authorities said they believed the driver had failed to obey a traffic control device before the crash unfolded.

Three of the four occupants were killed, the sheriff's office said.

The three people killed were identified by the sheriff’s office as Catarino Hernandez Guzman, 31, the driver of the vehicle; Francisco Lopez, 33, and Jesus Carrera Avendano 22. The passenger who survived was identified as Anselmo Caballero Herrera, 26.

An investigation found that the Honda had been traveling west on a farm access road when it attempted to cross over the train tracks.

"The farm road was controlled with stop signs, but it appears from the investigation the Honda failed to obey the traffic control device," the sheriff's office said. It added that there was no indication of either alcohol or drugs being a factor.

The sheriff's office said the relatives of those killed in the crash did not wish to speak to the media.

Authorities urged people to take precautions when encountering a railroad crossing, including being prepared to stop at a crossing until it is safe to proceed.

"Slow down, look both ways and listen while honing your senses. Understand the signs and warning devices. Check that you have enough room on the other side of the tracks for your vehicle to cross safely" and "never race the train," it said.