ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Police Department has identified the victim who died after police say a Rail Runner train packed with commuters crashed into a car.
Twenty-eight-year-old Nicole Lopez was killed after APD says her car ended up on the tracks at Candelaria, just east of Second Street. The railroad crossing was closed for hours and barely reopened around 9 p.m. Wednesday.
Police are trying to figure out if the crossing gates came down in time and how the car ended up stuck between them.
“It’s just sad, it’s sad…It’s horrible, especially when you look over and there’s a car and she’s there,” a passenger said.
A Rail Runner spokesperson says the 5:15 train headed from Santa Fe to Belen struck a car at the Candelaria crossing in Albuquerque, killing the car’s driver. APD and AFR responded to the scene that closed the crossing for hours, delaying the train that was carrying 91 people.
According to the Rail Runner, it doesn’t appear that the car crashed into the gates at the crossing, but police say they’re still investigating to see how the car ended up on the train tracks.
These trains can go up to 79 mph, but once they get into the city they slow down to about 50.
“Even a train going about 50 mph, takes anywhere from a quarter-mile to a half-mile to stop sometimes,” Augusta Meyers, a Rail Runner spokesperson, said.
The crash caused major delays, forcing the Rail Runner to bus passengers on other trains to different stations. The Rail Runner says it does have cameras on all its trains that will help police determine what happened in this case.
Police say there was only one person in the car.