4 dead, 1 hurt after vehicle collides with stopped train in downtown Florence

Published: Sep. 10, 2022 at 10:28 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 12, 2022 at 11:28 AM EDT
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - Four people have died and one other person was hurt after a crash involving a train and another vehicle in downtown Florence on Saturday.

Capt. Mike Brandt of the Florence Police Department said a call regarding the wreck came in at around 8:40 p.m. He said it happened in the area of Baroody and North Dargan streets.

Florence County Coroner Keith von Lutcken confirmed the deaths to WMBF News on Sunday. The four killed were later identified as:

  • Mitchell Carter, II, 34, of Florence
  • Jeneka Carter, 40, of Florence
  • Antoine Hines, 46, of Florence
  • Ruby Taylor, 27, of Hartsville

Von Lutcken also said preliminary findings showed the vehicle, driven by Mitchell Carter, was going at a high rate of speed and attempted to go around the railroad crossing gate while the train was stopped.

The vehicle then collided with the train and burst into flames as a result of the crash.

The Florence Police Department said the fifth person inside the SUV was seriously hurt and taken to the hospital.

In a statement provided Sunday, CSX Transporation no one aboard the train was injured.

“At CSX safety is our highest priority in the communities we serve. We remind the public that any activity on or near a rail line can be dangerous,” the company said.

CSX also said it is cooperating with the Florence Police Department in its ongoing investigation.

When at the scene Sunday, a witness told WMBF News reporter Eric Richards that they saw an SUV speeding toward the railroad crossing. He said the driver then lost control when trying to go around the railroad crossing gate after it had come down.

“The vehicle plowed into the locomotive,” he said.

The witness added the train was “halfway through the intersection” when the vehicle tried to go around the crossing.

The Florence Police Department said the crash is under investigation. Anyone with information regarding the crash is asked to contact Sgt. Hart at 843-665-3191 or bhart@cityofflorence.com.

Stay with WMBF News for updates.