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5 dead, 2 injured as train strikes SUV carrying family in Florida, sheriff says

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(TAMPA, Fla.) — Five people were killed Saturday evening when a freight train slammed into an SUV carrying seven at a crossing in Hillsborough County, Florida, law enforcement officials said.

The dead, which included three adults and two children, were believed to have been family members, officials said. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister described a horrific scene, comparing the SUV to crushed can in the aftermath of the crash.

Upon impact, the SUV “flipped violently several times before it landed a distance from this crossing,” Chronister said in recounting the collision after viewing video.

The jaws of life were used to rescue the driver and a front passenger, who were both transported to an area hospital, listed as in critical condition, the sheriff’s office said.

The other five passengers were violently ejected from the SUV and are deceased, officials said. Three women and two boys were killed, officials said.

“The exact dynamic between and the relations between all seven of the individuals that are in this car we’re still working through, but I believe tonight Hillsborough County lost one of its families,” Chronister said.

Chronister said the victims are believed to be a local Plant City family who were en route to a quinceañera at a home just across the railroad crossing.

The crash scene was near the intersection of U.S. Route 92 and Jim Lefler Circle.

ABC News’ Mariama Jalloh contributed to this story.

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