When first responders arrived at a Wilson County railroad crossing Sunday night, they found a crumpled sport utility vehicle and no driver.
The crash was dispatched at 10:30 p.m., according to North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper John Lamm.
A gray Jeep Cherokee had severe damage on its front and rear ends after coming to rest on Van Slyke Road between Wilson and Elm City.
The crossing arm gates were down and blinking and the railroad warning lights were flashing.
A line of tank cars sat still on the tracks at the end of the freight train.
Responders from the East Nash Volunteer Fire Department had no one to extricate, and emergency medical technicians and paramedics from Wilson County EMS had no one to treat.
Deputies from the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office and troopers from the N.C. Highway Patrol joined CSX personnel in looking for the driver and working to pinpoint the exact place where the freight train made contact with the SUV.
Lamm said the vehicle appeared to have been pushed about 71 feet before the northbound train pushed it away from the tracks.
The wreck remained under investigation Monday. Lamm said it was too early to describe the cause.
Dillon Towing and Recovery responded to remove the car from the railroad crossing.
Chief of Staff Wanda Samuel of the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office said the Highway Patrol is investigating the crash and no driver had been located Monday morning.