Two die in U.S. 31 accident with train

Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.
Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

Updated: 12:45 p.m.

Two people are dead after a train collided with a car on U.S. 31 at County Road 550N last night in Bartholomew County.

The driver, 18-year-old Matthew K. D. Newland of Columbus, was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital and pronounced dead at 11:24 p.m. Friday. County Coroner Clayton Nolting says that Newland died of massive blunt force trauma.

A passenger, 17-year-old Carmyn Elkins of Columbus, was taken to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and also died according to deputies.

The crash happened at about 10:17 p.m. last night, when a car turned off of U.S. 31 on to the county road, into the path of the train, a witness told Bartholomew County deputies. The car was knocked into a field southeast of the intersection by the collision and the driver and a passenger were trapped in the wreckage.

Columbus firefighters rescued the victims from the wreckage where they were treated by Columbus Regional Hospital paramedics.

The witness said that the railroad crossing equipment at the intersection was working properly and the train engineer sounded the horn several times before the crash. Investigators will be reviewing camera footage from the train.

The conductor and engineer of the Louisville & Indiana Railroad train were uninjured.

The accident remains under investigation by the railroad, the sheriff’s department and the Bartholomew County Coroner’s office.