- Associated Press - Thursday, May 4, 2017

FONTANET, Ind. (AP) - A driver was killed Thursday when his pickup truck collided with a freight train he was trying to beat through a crossing, the second railroad-related fatality in as many days in western Indiana’s Vigo County, the sheriff said Thursday.

The collision propelled Jack Cheesman, 54, of Terre Haute from the truck, and he was pronounced dead at the scene, Sheriff Greg Ewing said.

Cheesman’s passenger, Rachel Camp, 26, of Terre Haute, needed to be extricated from the wreckage by firefighters, Ewing said. She was in critical condition in an Indianapolis hospital.

The collision occurred about 5 a.m. near the northern Vigo County town of Fontanet, about 60 miles west of Indianapolis.

Cheesman sped toward the crossing where warning lights were activated and drove around a crossing arm guarding two sets of railroad tracks, the sheriff said.

“Cheesman disregarded all warning devices and was struck by the southwest train,” the sheriff’s department said in a news release.

Less than 18 hours earlier and about seven miles away, a man died after his tractor collided with a freight train. The crash about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday killed Samuel Plant, 38, of Terre Haute. Ewing said Plant was operating a large field sprayer loaded with herbicide when it entered the railroad tracks and was struck by a train.

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