Plant City Florida Train Crash: 4 Adults, 2 Kids on Way to Quinceanera Killed after Freight Train Slams into SUV They Were Traveling In

According to the authorities, the car was seen to have "crawled across the railroad crossing" without making a necessary stop to look both ways.

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Six people, including two parents and their three children, were killed after a Cadillac Escalade on its way to a quinceanera party rolled into the path of a freight train traveling 55 mph in Florida. The devastating incident occurred at a private crossing about 20 miles west of Tampa, Florida, on Saturday.

The crossing did not have barriers and had only a stop sign as a precaution for approaching trains. It left five of the vehicle's seven passengers dead at the scene. The driver, 52-year-old Jose Guadalupe Hernandez, initially survived the crash but later succumbed to his injuries overnight after being rushed to a nearby hospital, as stated by cops.

Killed in No Time

Plant City Florida crash
The scene at Plant City, Florida, where the crash happened killing six people Twitter

The crash happened just before seven p.m. at a crossing on US-92 near Jim Lefler Circle in Plant City. Hernandez's wife Enedalia Hernandez, 50, along with their three children—Julian (9), Alyssa (17), and Anaelia (22)—were ejected from the back of the vehicle upon impact and were killed instantly.

According to the authorities, the car was seen to have "crawled across the railroad crossing" without making a necessary stop to look both ways.

Jakub Lopez, 17, a friend of one of the siblings, also lost his life in the crash. The only survivor, Guillermo Gama, 23, who is Anaelia's boyfriend and was a passenger in the front of the car, is currently in critical condition and receiving medical care at Lakeland hospital.

Plant City Florida crash
Police are still investigating the case Twitter

"On Saturday 9/23/23 my nephew Guillermo E. (Gordo/Doorbell) Gama III was involved in a fatal train wreck that stole the lives of an entire family," a GoFundMe started by Gama's aunt reads.

"The deceased victims were [Gama's] girlfriend, parents, 2 siblings and a friend of one of the siblings."

The post continued, "Gama is only 23 years old with a passion for life and family," and within two hours had garnered approximately $3,000 in donations.

"He is currently in Critical Condition at Lakeland Regional Hospital fighting for his life."

"The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is heartbroken to share the latest update regarding the fatal train versus vehicle crash investigation,' a spokesperson for the office said. The driver involved in the crash succumbed to his injuries and passed away overnight."

Plant City Florida crash

"[Hernandez] was driving his white 2020 Cadillac Escalade southbound on Jim Lefler Circle from US Highway 92, approaching a railroad crossing controlled by a stop sign and a railroad crossing sign," officers wrote.

"Hernandez had six other passengers in the Escalade, including his wife, two juvenile children, an adult child, and two friends of the children.

"For unknown and undetermined reasons, the driver slowly crossed the tracks directly in the train's path. Five rear passengers were ejected from the Escalade as it rotated and rolled to final rest."

Should Have Be More Careful

Sheriff Chad Chronister described the mangled vehicle as resembling "a crushed soft drink can," with scattered pieces left at the scene by Sunday morning.

crime scene
Representative image Twitter

He also said that the crash was caught on camera, and this footage is being used to assist in their ongoing investigation.

According to the Sheriff, the video footage reveals how the Cadillac approached the railroad crossing, describing it as a "slow crawl" without a complete stop or checking for oncoming trains.

He stressed that the train conductor made every effort to slow down the train, sounding loud horns and activating flashing lights, but regrettably, they couldn't prevent the collision with the vehicle.

A witness told deputies that they honked their horn in an attempt to get the driver's attention as they crossed the sparsely traveled crossing, en route to a birthday party just across the tracks.

The SUV, as described by the sheriff, "flipped violently several times" before landing a considerable distance from the crossing, which notably lacked a barrier and only had a sign indicating the potential passage of trains.

The Sheriff added that he, along with all first responders, is still "visibly shaken" and deeply impacted by the tragic incident. "It's that horrible of a scene."