State Police have identified a 70-year-old woman and two 12-year-old girls who were killed Tuesday evening when a train struck a car that was stopped on the railroad tracks in New Iberia.
Another adult and two 12-year-old boys were critically injured in the crash. All of the victims are from New Iberia.
The accident happened shortly after 6 p.m. off LA Highway 88 near LA Highway 182 in Iberia Parish, according to the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Those killed were identified as Phyllis Leblanc, 70, Jayla Daigle, 12; and Trinity Schmidt, 12, all of New Iberia. Steve Leblanc, 49, and the two boys, also all of New Iberia, sustained critical injuries. State Police was unable to say if the Leblancs are related.
Amtrak spokesman Mike Tolbert said no one on the Sunset Limited was hurt. He says the train from Los Angeles to New Orleans was carrying 119 passengers. The train resumed its trip about 8:45 p.m.
Impairment is not suspected, but standard toxicology samples were obtained and sent to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis, State Police said in a news release. This crash remains under investigation.
State Police give this account of the crash:
The Ford Taurus, driven by Phyllis Leblanc, was traveling north on LA 88 and stopped on top of a railroad grade. An Amtrak train was traveling east and struck the passenger car while it was stopped on the tracks. After impact, the car was pushed completely off the roadway.
The Iberia Parish Coroner’s Office arrived on scene and pronounced three of the vehicle's occupants dead. The three injured occupants were transported to hospitals for treatment.
The crash occurred at a crossing with active warning devices (flashing lights, gates, or bells). Louisiana state law requires motorists to yield the right of way to train, State Police said.