A woman and her dog died Tuesday morning when the car she was driving collided with an Amtrak train at a Highway 97 railroad crossing in Dorris.
No Amtrak passengers or personnel were injured in the accident, which was reported just before 8:30 a.m., according to the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, which provides contract law enforcement services for Dorris.
SCSO Sergeant Abner Weed responded to the incident near Railroad Avenue, along with local fire department and California Highway Patrol first responders.
A preliminary investigation revealed the vehicle, operated by a female driver allegedly observed driving at a high-rate of speed prior to the collision, was driving southbound on Highway 97 when she ran through the crossing gate and collided with the train’s engine.
The train was in motion at the time of the collision, said SCSO.
The driver was pronounced dead at the scene, SCSO reported. A deceased dog was also located in the vehicle after fire department personnel extinguished erupting flames.
The railroad crossing arm barriers and signals were functioning at the time of the collision, said the SCSO.
Identification of the driver is being withheld at this time, pending the notification of next-of-kin.
“On behalf of the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, I would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to the decedent, family, associates, and friends,” said Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey. “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the local Dorris Volunteer Fire Department, CHP, California Department of Transportation, CAL FIRE and Amtrak personnel, whose assistance with the mitigation of this tragic event was most helpful and appreciated. This incident is still under investigation and anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the SCSO’s 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.”