UPDATE: Neighbors and family members of the three people killed in a train crash in McMinn County are calling for safety improvements.

It happened around 5:30 p.m. on Thursday next to Highway 11 in Riceville.

They want safety lights at the train crossing that sits on a private driveway. Right now, there's only a stop sign.

Neighbors and family members of the victims say that's not enough.

"Satan took my daughter away. I ask people to pray for this family and hold us up to God," Kenneth Hammack, the victim's father said.

Hammack said his daughter, Wendy Humphreys, was full of life. The 45 year old from Chattanooga was engaged to Johnny Ashworth who had a 17-year-old daughter named Jasmine.

All three were killed when a train hit their car on a private driveway near Highway 11 in Riceville.

"I don't care if it's a single house where a train crosses, they need to put lights and blocks," Hammack said.

The train crossing only has a stop sign, which Hammack says needs to change.

"There's never been a close call. There's only four of us that live on the other side of the tracks here in this little valley. Nothing like that's ever come close to happening," Andrew Grysiewicz, a neighbor said.

Grysiewicz who lives nearby is also calling for safety improvements.

"We've crossed over those paths thousands of times, coming in and out of here. To think that could have happened to one of us, it's awful," Grysiewicz said.

Investigators from the Federal Railroad Administration measured the distance the conductor had to see the crossing. They'll also review the video from the train.

As the investigation continues, Hammack sees the good in a dark time with the recent birth of his great-grand daughter.

"We feel down and we cry and we get that frown, but when we pick up this precious life, the tears are still there, but the smile becomes real. So, we just have to keep going forward," Hammack said.

TDOT said s since it's a private crossing, no public money can be used to improve safety at the crossing.

The railroad company, Norfolk Southern, told Channel 3 it's up to the property owner to install and pay for any warning devices. That property owner said it should be up to Norfolk Southern since it's their railroad.


UPDATE: The Tennessee Highway Patrol has released the names of the people who died in a crash involving a train and car in McMinn County.

The THP identified them as 45-year-old Wendy Humphreys from Chattanooga, 46-year-old Johnny Ashworth from Chattanooga, and 17-year-old Jasmine Ashworth from Calhoun, Georgia.

The crash happened around 5:30 Thursday evening on Highway 11 near Calhoun, Tennessee. State troopers say the car was trying to cross the tracks when the train hit it.

That caused the car to roll down an embankment and end up around a quarter of a mile north of the crossing upside down.

At the crossing, there are no crossing gates or lights, just a stop sign. 


PREVIOUS STORY: The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating a deadly crash involving a train and vehicle Thursday evening.

It happened on Highway 11 near Calhoun.

The THP says three people were in the vehicle during the collision.

The THP says those three people died from their injuries.

No names have been released.

Details of what led to the crash have not been released.

Stay with the WRCB app for updates to this developing story.