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Occupants barely escape from SUV stuck in front of a train at railroad crossing

An SUV that was driven around the crossing gates in an effort to beat an oncoming CSX freight train became stuck early Sunday on the CSX railroad tracks in Tonawanda, and it was struck by the train. The two occupants of the SUV ran off less than half a minute before the collision, but the driver later was charged with a crossing violation.

The 2009 Ford Escape got stuck when it tried to drive around the crossing gates at Wheeler Street at 3:16 a.m. according to City of Tonawanda police.

The time between when the SUV got stuck and when it was hit was 26 seconds, based on footage from the train’s onboard cameras, police said.

The two SUV occupants were located at 4:45 a.m. The driver was identified as Jason Schiavone, 36, of the City of Tonawanda. The passenger was Allisa K. Haskins, 22, of Buffalo. Schiavone was ticketed for the crossing violation.

The CSX train was heading from Buffalo to Niagara Falls at the time of the incident. The train had 140 cars and was travelling 29 mph.