Editor's Note: 13 year-old Deyki Mitchell was previously identified by the Lake County Coroner's Office as female. Mitchell is male. Our story below has been corrected to reflect this.
An 11-year-old-girl and a 13-year-old boy were among the three family members killed Tuesday morning when a train collided with a vehicle at a northwest Indiana train crossing, according to officials.
Deniya Brown, 11, Deyki Mitchell, 13 and Shermika Herbert, 37, were pronounced dead after being ejected from their vehicle upon impact of a passing train, the Lake County Coroner's Office confirmed Tuesday.
The CSX train struck a four-door Chevrolet at about 7:30 a.m. at a crossing in Gary's Miller neighborhood, Gary police said.
The crumpled vehicle came to rest off the tracks and the train had stopped, blocking major crossings in Gary, police Cmdr. Jack Hamady said.
Gary Mayor Jerome Prince released the following statement Tuesday on the fatal accident:
“We all are saddened when we lose any of our friends and neighbors, but it’s especially painful when we lose multiple members of a family, including young ones.
We lost several members of a family in a train-car collision this morning. At this point, details are limited as different law enforcement agencies and the CSX railroad continue investigating this incident.
Whatever the outcomes of these investigations, I implore every resident and visitor to be extra cautious when using every railroad crossing and please respect crossing gates and safety devices throughout our city.”
In 2021 through August, Indiana has seen 69 collisions at rail crossings, resulting in nine fatalities, according to data from Operation Lifesaver. In Illinois, there have been 82 collisions leading to 20 deaths.