Surveillance video from deadly railroad crash released
SELLERSBURG, IN (WAVE) - WAVE 3 News has obtained graphic video of a deadly accident in which a train struck an SUV in Sellersburg.
Friday's crash happened at Highway 31 and Bringham Drive in Sellersburg around 4 p.m.
The surveillance video shows the SUV pull up on Bringham Drive to turn onto Highway 31. The vehicle doesn't stop at the stop sign. The train is coming at it on the left of the video. A few seconds later, the train smashes into the car. The frames after the crash show if the car had stopped short of the stop sign, it would have been clear of the train.
"It was very traumatic," witness Cathy McCarty said. "Something that I don't ever want to see again."
McCarty said she can't help but think about it. She was out there on Friday when the crash happened.
"I'm thankful that we were able to pray with them," McCarty said. "Unfortunately one did pass but, we did all that we could do."
Amir Salman, 29, originally from Iraq, was killed. Police said he was the backseat passenger. Mohammed Al Anani, 26, was the driver and his wife, 18-year-old Amaal Shaibi, also was in the vehicle.
Al Anani and Shaibi survived and were rushed to University Hospital.
"It is very devastating," said Khalid Awad, an acquaintance of the victims. He said Salman came to Louisville eight years ago for a better life.
"He was kidnapped back in Iraq," Awad said. "His father was assassinated just a week ago."
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Police said the three were in Sellersburg to check out a car that was on sale at a business off Bringham Drive.
McCarty said she's had to get used to this intersection that has number of problems, one being that people ignore the stop sign. On top of that, there are no crossing arms or lights. Once drivers cross over the tracks to turn onto Highway 31, there isn't much room between the road and track.
"It's hard to gauge," McCarty said. "That terrifies me, to be honest, because you don't really know if you are off the tracks. There is not enough room. You don't know how long you will be hanging off there before you get on the main road, so I just don't think they realized."
Family members are working on sending Salman back to Iraq for his funeral.
Witnesses said that the train was blowing the horn.
Sellersburg's Police Chief Russ Whelan said from what he saw of the surveillance video from the train, there were no cars in front of or behind the SUV. Why they stopped or why they didn't get out remain under investigation.
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