A train struck a vehicle stopped on a railroad track in Ventura on Friday evening after the car’s 79-year-old driver “became confused” when the crossing lights came on, officials said.
The incident, which sent four people to the hospital, happened just before 7 p.m. on California Street near Harbor Boulevard, according to the Ventura Police Department.
Officers responded to the scene after receiving multiple 911 calls about a crash involving a train and a vehicle, the agency said.
Investigators learned that a motorist had been traveling south on California Street when “he became confused as the railroad crossing lights came on, and the crossing arms came down,” a police statement said.
An engineer operating an oncoming Union Pacific Railroad freight train tried but was unable to stop, according to police. The train slammed on the front corner panel of the vehicle’s passenger side, officials said.
The four occupants inside the car were taken to area hospitals. One of them, a 37-year-old man suffered major injuries, according to police.
Nobody on the train was hurt.
Officials only identified the driver as a 79-year-old man. Investigators said they don’t believe alcohol or drugs were involved in the incident.
The case remains under investigation. Police urged anyone who might have witnessed the crash to contact investigators at 805-339-4451.