CLINTON -- A 52-year-old Sunset area man was struck and killed by a FrontRunner train Monday night when he attempted to drive around crossing gates that officials say were in the down position.
The southbound train was likely traveling near its top speed of 79 mph and pushed the full-size pickup the man was driving approximately four blocks south, Utah Transit Authority spokesman Gerry Carpenter said. The accident occurred just before 8 p.m. at 475 W. 1800 North.
The driver of the pickup was likely killed instantly and was not identified pending notification of relatives, said Sgt. Harley Watkins, of the Utah Highway Patrol.
UHP is investigating the incident and does not know why the man attempted to drive around the crossing gates, Watkins said.
Troopers do not believe there were any passengers in the pickup, but were searching the crash site for signs of any other victim who might have been ejected from the vehicle as part of the investigation late Monday night.
There were 18 passengers on the train. One was transported to the hospital but appeared to have only minor injuries, Watkins said.
The accident was tragic because it was preventable, Carpenter said.
"These crossings have been upgraded and are as safe as they can be made," he said. "Through this area, the trains travel very quickly."
The driver of the FrontRunner will be placed on administrative leave during the investigation and provided counseling, Carpenter said. Standard procedure also requires the driver to be tested for drugs or alcohol, he said.