ELKTON, S.D (KELO) — The South Dakota Highway Patrol is investigating a car versus train crash that left two people dead in Brookings County last night.
According to residents here in Elkton, the call came in around 7 pm for a car that had driven through the track that you can see behind me on the intersection of South Dakota Highway 13.
The crash caused the train to derail into a grain structure near the tracks. Crews have been out since the early morning clearing the train cars and debris. Many residents I spoke with say this crash was unlike anything they’ve seen before.
“They heard the cars kind of cling, cling, cling cling real rapidly. And one of the other people said something about it being so fast, but didn’t even realize it was a derailment until later,” said Daren Junker, resident and pastor.
“We haven’t had anything like that in town for as long as I’ve been there. So it’s a- we had a train derailment a few years ago but it was just a derailment,” said Jeff Brunsting, resident and firefighter.
Jeff Brunsting has been a resident for over 20 years and a firefighter for 15. He was one of the many firefighters called to the accident last night.
“The scariest part was what the train was hauling if it was hauling ethanol or any chemicals. So as a firefighter, you worry about that. And if you have to evacuate town or you know just kind of welfare for the safety of the public,” Brunsting said.
Resident and pastor Daren Junker was downtown preparing for the annual Harvest Festival when the crash happened.
“By the time we were done with setting up here, all the emergency vehicles were around the different places and stuff, they were blocking all the streets,” Junker said.
Currently, there is no information about the identities of the driver and passenger who died. Residents in Elkton say this crash is not one they will soon forget.