01292013Headline:

Dutch man dies trying to save elderly couple at railroad crossing

BARNEVELD, NETHERLANDS (BNO NEWS) -- A Dutch man was struck and killed by a train Thursday evening while trying to rescue an elderly couple whose car had become trapped on a railroad crossing, local authorities said on Friday. An elderly woman was critically injured.

The incident happened shortly after 6 p.m. local time on Thursday when an elderly couple driving their Dodge Neon entered a railroad crossing in Barneveld, a town in central Gelderland province. Their vehicle was standing perpendicular on the railroad tracks for unknown reasons when the crossing gates lowered for the approaching train.

The closing gates caused the elderly couple, both 92, to panic and led to the car's engine to shut down. "A third person saw this happening and tried to help," a police spokesperson said. "The man from Putten tried to remove the 92-year-old woman from the vehicle when the train approached and collided with the car."

Both the elderly woman and the 31-year-old man were struck by the train, killing the man and critically injuring the woman. "The 92-year-old driver of the car was able to leave the car just in time and was neither hit by the train nor injured," the spokesperson said. The woman received first aid from a police officer and a witness before she was taken to an area hospital by ambulance.

Police said many people witnessed Thursday's accident, which came less than two months after a man died when he tried to save a suicidal woman from being struck by an approaching train in the southern town of Vught. The 37-year-old woman died about two weeks later in a local hospital.

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