The three people killed late Sunday night when the vehicle they were traveling in was hit by an Amtrak train in Mansfield were in their 20s and lived in three towns within several miles of the collision, a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation said Tuesday.
The official, who could not speak publicly because of the sensitivity of the probe, said the victims were from Foxborough, Raynham, and North Attleborough.
The Bristol district attorney’s office said it was still trying to get more information.
Officials there are withholding the names of the two men and woman who were killed, while the state medical examiner confirms their identities, said Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter.
The violent collision derailed the main engine of the regional train, which travels at speeds of up to 125 miles per hour in the area where the crash occurred, and scattered debris along a little more than 2 miles of heavily wooded and swampy land between Gilbert and School streets, authorities said. Officials did not know the exact speed of the train at the time of the crash.
The train, which had left Providence and was heading to Boston, came to a stop behind the Old Country Store & Emporium on Otis Street, officials said.
Kenneth Sprague, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Transit Police deputy chief, said the vehicle was pointed north when it was struck by the train, which was also moving north, but authorities do not know whether the vehicle was moving or idle when the crash occurred. They also don’t know where the vehicle was able to get onto the tracks.
Authorities did not disclose any details about the vehicle the victims were in.
Mansfield Police Chief Ronald Sellon said Monday there are multiple places where people can access the tracks along the route.
There is no public access onto the railroad right-of-way in Mansfield, however, said Joe Pesaturo, a MBTA spokesman.
None of the 222 passengers aboard were hurt, and the train remained upright even after it derailed at approximately 11:55 p.m. Sunday, about 14 miles west of Route 128, Craig Schulz, an Amtrak spokesman, said Monday. He said the conductor had applied the brakes in a “full emergency capacity” when he saw the vehicle.
Messages left Tuesday for police, fire, and Amtrak officials were not immediately returned.Mike Bello contributed to this report. Laura Crimaldi can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @lauracrimaldi.