APD identifies victim killed in vehicle crash on Rail Runner

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Police Department identified the deceased victim after police said a Rail Runner train filled with commuters crashed into a car.

Nicole Lopez, 28, was killed after the DPA said her car ended up in the lanes of Candelaria, just east of Second Street. The crossing was closed for hours and barely reopened around 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Police are trying to determine if the crossing gates fell on time and how the car got stuck between them.

“It’s just sad, it’s sad… It’s horrible, especially when you look over it and there’s a car and it’s there,” said a passenger.

A spokesperson for Rail Runner said the 5:15 am train from Santa Fe to Belen struck a car at the Candelaria crossing in Albuquerque, killing the driver of the car. APD and AFR responded to the scene which closed the crossing for hours, delaying the train which was carrying 91 people.

According to the Rail Runner, it doesn’t appear the car crashed into the crossing gates, but police say they’re still investigating to see how the car ended up on the tracks.

These trains can go up to 79 mph, but once you get into town they slow down to around 50.

“Even a train traveling at around 80 km / h sometimes takes a quarter of a mile to half a mile to stop,” said Augusta Meyers, spokesperson for Rail Runner.

The accident caused significant delays, forcing the Rail Runner to carry passengers from other trains to various stations. The Rail Runner says he has cameras on all of his trains that will help police determine what happened in this case.

Police said there was only one person in the car.

Patricia F. Herald