The crash occurred at 10:40 p.m. at Joppa and Ashmont roads, according to Erie County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Nick Kotsopoulos. He said a Chevrolet Tahoe, which was traveling northbound on Joppa Road, drove around railroad crossing gates and was struck by the train, which was traveling approximately 45 to 50 mph.
The vehicle was thrown into a crossing signal gate and rolled down an embankment before coming to a rest, according to an Erie County Sheriff’s report.
One of the vehicle’s occupants, Gregory Long, 29, of Vermilion, was pronounced dead at the scene. Another occupant, Joseph Murray, 31, of Vermilion, was taken to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo.
Kotsopoulos said it is unknown who was driving the vehicle, but there was no indication that the crash was intentional. He said, according to a Norfolk Southern Railway train engineer, the vehicle was attempting to back off the tracks when it was hit.
“We’re still trying to put all the pieces together,” he said.