An Amtrak train en route to Grand Rapids collided with a Coloma teen’s car late Tuesday night on 52nd Avenue, just east of C.R. 687, in Van Buren County’s Hartford Township.
Zachariah Zellmer, 19, died at the scene after his car became wedged under the front of the train’s lead locomotive.
Police said Zellmer had just turned east onto 52nd Avenue from C.R. 687, when he drove around the track’s lowered crossing arms and into the path of the oncoming train.
The Amtrak was traveling 65 mph when its crew saw Zellmer’s car and activated the train’s emergency brake. The train couldn’t avoid hitting Zellmer’s car and pushing it a considerable distance, police said.
The train did have working bells, lights and whistles and the crossing’s lights and control arms were operating at the time of the crash.
None of the train’s 72 passengers nor crew were injured.