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Coachella, California — February 7, 2011

Police say a woman and a young child were killed when the vehicle they were traveling in collided with a train in Coachella around midnight.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department reports that woman, 23, was traveling in the 5200 block of 52nd Avenue around midnight when she approached a rail line near the Coachella Valley Water District. For unknown reasons, her vehicle collided with the train.

The female driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The force of the collision caused her passenger, a roughly 3-year-old boy, to be thrown from the wreckage. Paramedics took him to a nearby hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Police shut down 52nd Avenue near California State Route 111 in order to conduct an investigation and clear debris from the roadway. The intersection as expected to remain closed for eight hours.

Officers believe that barrier arms and flashing lights were in proper working order at the time of the crash. Many rail crossings throughout the United States are not equipped with proper safety equipment. 

Arms of Life is a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve safety at railroad crossings through the addition of lighted signals and crossing arms. In its mission as an advocate for the victims of traffic accidents, Find My Accident has partnered with Arms of Life to help prevent tragic accidents throughout the United States.

UPDATE: The victims in the crash have been identified as Veronica Sarmiento and her song, Christopher Carriere.

If you would like an official copy of the police report, request a copy with this form.

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