Deputies name student killed in train crash

HUMBOLDT, Ill. (WAND) - One person died in an Amtrak vs car crash in rural Coles County Friday morning. 

According to the Coles County Sheriff's Department, they were called to the area of Commercial and Elm around 7:45 a.m. for a car vs. Amtrak crash. 

The Mattoon School District confirmed an 11th grade high school student, identified as 16-year-old John Nisbet, is the one who died in the crash. 

Deputies say the teen tried to drive around railroad crossing gates, adding that maneuver caused the Amtrak train to hit his car.

“We send our sympathies, support and prayers to the family and friends of John Nisbet III,” said Larry Lilly, superintendent, Mattoon Community Unit School District 2. “Our school family has experienced this loss as well. We are all hurting.”

Amtrak told WAND-TV that a car was stopped on the tracks when the train struck it. The train was heading out of Mattoon at the time of the crash. They said no one on the train was injured. 

A witness to the crash said he was not sure what happened until he was able to get closer. 

"When I did come across the track there was rock and all kinds of debris, parts of the car and things. As far as anyone surviving, I wouldn't think so," said David McSchooler. 

The sheriff's department said only one car was involved, and only one person was in that car. 

The investigation is still ongoing. They expect to release more information sometime Friday afternoon. 

Crews are still working to clear the tracks and that could take a few more hours.