Passengers on board Lynx Train describe deadly crash - | WBTV Charlotte

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Passengers on board Lynx Train describe deadly crash

(Credit: CharMeck) (Credit: CharMeck)
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

The woman killed after her vehicle collided with a CATS light rail train in South Charlotte Thursday morning has been identified. 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say 26-year-old Ashley Yvonne Riveron was attempting to cross a Lynx light rail crossing while the flashing arms were down. 

Riveron was driving a 2001 Ford Explorer and died on scene, police say. 

Hebron Street and the light rail has since reopened. CMPD tweeted that the wreck happened around 9:20 a.m. on South Boulevard at Hebron Street, shutting down all lanes in the area for some time.

Thirty-eight passengers were aboard the train at the time, but none were injured. Passengers, who reported feeling pieces of the car going underneath the train, say the light rail hit the brakes hard before impact. 

“I was in the front of the car and all I saw was the car and the train, and the brakes were on,” said one passenger. “It was a very loud noise. I am just shaken up pretty bad.” 

“It was a loud impact and it rocked the train back and forth. We were on the brakes hard before it even happened," one passenger recalled. “Unfortunately, it sounds like someone lost their life. So, it is pretty terrible.”

“The train hit the brakes first and then it sounded like parts of the train went under the car and it was just really loud,” said another passenger.

CATS used buses to take the passengers from the I-485 station to the Archdale Station.  According to CATS, the light rail operator has undergone post-incident evaluation and has been employed with CATS since 2007. 

There has been two previous incidents at the Hebron crossing, including the light rail striking a vehicle in 2016 and the light rail hitting an animal in 2017.

The light rail had 48 near misses in 2016, which requires the operator to apply the breaks to avoid hitting a vehicle, pedestrian or animal. Four of those incidents occurred at the Herbon Road crossing. Meanwhile in 2017, there have been five near misses at Hebron Road so far. 

Police say speed was not a factor in the crash. It is unknown if Riveron was impaired. 

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