Correction: Enedelia Hernandez’s age has been corrected to 50 years old.
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Another victim in a tragic crash between a freight train and an SUV in Plant City died Sunday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies said the crash happened at about 6:45 p.m. after a Cadillac Escalade carrying a family and two friends was struck at US-92 and Jim Lefler Circle by a train that was traveling at 55 mph. The family was heading to a quinceañera at the time of the incident.
“As you can imagine, the carnage that’s created when these two collide,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “The SUV, we can see from the video begins to catapult and flip violently several times before it’s landed.”
The victims of the crash were “violently” ejected upon impact, killing six of them and critically injuring one of them.
The deceased victims were identified as driver Jose G. Hernandez, 52; Enedelia Hernandez, 50; Jakub A. Lopez, 17; Alyssa Hernandez, 17; Aniella Hernandez, 22; and Julian Hernandez, 9.
The surviving victim was said to be the front passenger, 23-year-old Guillermo E. Gama III. The sheriff’s office said he is in critical condition at Lakeland Regional Health, as of this report.
“I continue to ask our community to keep this family, their loved ones, and first responders in their thoughts,” Chronister said Sunday. “This tragic loss is immense, and the members of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and I are praying for peace and comfort for all those impacted. In the midst of desperation and senseless tragedy, our goal is to provide every available resource to those in need and lighten their unimaginable burden. Those impacted by this devastating loss were met with compassion and the highest level of professionalism while trying to navigate the unspeakable.”
Chronister said the scene was horrific to see, describing the family’s SUV as a “soft drink can that was smashed.”
“I think anyone who has seen the carnage that’s been created, whenever you compound that with children lost their lives here, maybe an entire family, maybe an entire family lost their life here tonight,” Chronister said Saturday night. “We’re all visibly shaken.”
No one on the train suffered injuries in the crash, officials said.
The train crossing did not have crossing arms, only a stop sign. However, rail safety expert Michael Callanan said the road was not meant for public traffic.
“This road is a privately maintained road, an access road to a home,” Callanan said. “There’s two homes back there I believe. It’s not a public thoroughfare road; it’s just a road to get to the house. Therefore it’s not required to have those warning devices there because it’s privately owned.”