Fire and police officials were dispatched to the railroad crossing at West Main Street in Newton, New Hampshire, on Sunday evening for a crash involving an Amtrak Downeaster train and a Toyota sedan.
The driver, whose identity was not released, was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency personnel, according to a statement from the Newton Police Department.
Newton Fire Chief John Alcaidinho said only the car was present on the scene when firefighters arrived six to seven minutes after the call.
"I've never seen a vehicle with that much damage," Alcaidinho said.
A press release from the Police Department said a combination of witness statements and surveillance footage shows the signals were working at the time the Toyota traveled through the crossing arm.
There were about 150 passengers on the train. No one was injured, according to a statement from Amtrak Corporate Communication.
The train's engineer stopped shortly after the crash believing a deer may have been hit, but continued the trip to Haverhill where the train was stopped and the incident was further investigated, according to the police statement.
Plaistow Fire Capt. Ryan Higgins, who lives close by, responded to the scene. He heard dispatches for an accident involving possible entrapment.
Higgins and Newton police officers walked the tracks and saw the vehicle a few hundred feet southbound from the railroad crossing.
"(I) did a face-to-face with the police officer then approached the severely damaged vehicle to which I found one occupant heavily entrapped with non-viable injuries," Higgins wrote in a message.
He turned the scene over to Newton Fire Department Capt. Robert Zalenski and the East Kingston fire chief upon their arrival.
An investigation found the car was travelling west toward Kingston when the train, traveling south, collided with it. The vehicle rested between 180 to 200 feet south of the crossing, according to officials.
A separate statement from Amtrak Corporate Communications reported, "At approximately 5:51 p.m. ET, Train 696 struck a vehicle on the tracks in Newton Junction, NH. There were no reported injuries to the crew or approximately 150 passengers onboard. Following the investigation by local authorities, the train continued on the scheduled trip."
The Newton Police Department was assisted by the Kingston Police Department, the New Hampshire State Police Department, members of the New Hampshire State Police Traffic Accident Reconstruction Team, Amtrak police and Boston and Maine Railroad police.
B&M Railroad signal crews have confirmed the track is reopened and the signals are properly functioning.