AUSTIN, Ind. (WAVE) – A Southern Indiana school district is grieving after a student was killed in a crash involving a car and a train in Austin on Saturday.
Hannah Combs was 17 and a junior at Austin High School. Investigators with the Scott County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to WAVE 3 News that Combs was a passenger in a car that collided with a train at Christie Road.
The driver, Stephanie Trabue, 22, of Scottsburg, was pronounced dead at the scene. Another passenger was taken to University of Louisville Hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Scott County School District 1 Superintendent Trevor Jones has worked in the education field for nearly three decades and knows how difficult losing a student is.
"Those are the things that keep you awake at night,” Jones told WAVE 3 News.
During times of grief within the school system, Jones relies heavily on teachers and grief counselors to help students.
"Any crisis, what we're feeling as adults, it's magnified by our students,” Jones added.
Much like the rest of the community, investigators are trying to find out why the crash happened.
“Video footage shows the car coming to a complete stop, or almost a complete stop, before the railroad tracks,” Indiana State Police Spokesperson Sgt. Carey Huls told WAVE 3 News. “But for an unknown reason, and maybe we’ll never know the reason why the vehicle continued on into the path of the train.”
Huls said the investigation is not over. He offered the accident up as a learning experience for the public.
“We'll look at it from every angle to find out exactly what happened,” he said. "People need to remember that when you see a train track, you always have to assume that there's a train.”
Superintendent Jones said while the school district can't change what happened to Combs, his administration can try to help students with what follows.
"We can't explain why things happen,” he said. “We can't fix some of the things that happened, but we can certainly address the needs when they arise. And our students, we have to be prepared to offer them the support that they need.”
Jones said all three of the passengers in the car had ties to the school district.