SUSSEX COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A woman is dead after police say she was in a car that was hit by an Amtrak train in Sussex County on Thursday afternoon, according to State Police.
At approximately 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17, the 80 Carolinian traveling from Charlotte to New York was temporarily stopped in Sussex County after it struck a 2023 Nissan Rogue that was on the track, according to Amtrak officials.
According to a State Police trooper at the scene, 67-year-old Arnetta Johnson Lucas was found inside of the car, she was pronounced dead at the scene. A witness reported seeing Lucas drive around the crossing arms, which was down as the train approached while blowing its horn.
Arnetta Lucas’ husband, Clifton Lucas told 8News that he was first notified of the crash by State Police. He described the shocking moment he heard from the State Police trooper.
“I said what’s wrong? He said, ‘your wife is longer here with us.’ Then I said ‘what happened?’ and he told me that the Amtrak hit her. I said ‘this can’t be,'” Clifton shared.
Clifton said he later heard from two of his daughters who had been trying to reach their mother and had not heard from her. Clifton described how devastating the grief has been for himself and his children since their loss.
“I got three girls and two boys and all of them are crying, including myself,” Clifton described.
Clifton said he then drove to Sussex County to find out more about the crash, saying that police told him that his wife drove around the crossing arms and onto the tracks when her car was then hit by the train. He added that he was heartbroken and stunned by the loss of his wife.
Juanita Joyce, who lives nearby and drives over the railroad crossing every day on her way to work, said she wants people to be more cautious when driving over train tracks.
“Please. Please. If you’re near a train track, do not think you can cross those lines when they come down. It only takes a split second,” said Joyce. “An Amtrak train cannot stop quick enough to see you on that track.”
At the time of the incident, 290 passengers were on the train but none have been reported injured, according to Amtrak.
Amtrak did not say when the crash took place or how long the train was stopped for, but said that the train continued heading north at around 3:45 p.m. Thursday.
Amtrak is working with local law enforcement to investigate this incident.
This is an ongoing story, stay with 8News for updates.