4 killed in car-train crash in Hardeeville

Authorities believe as many as four people -- including an 8-year-old -- died after a passenger train hit a vehicle in Hardeeville on Monday night.

Preliminary reports indicate the Amtrak train pushed the car for about a mile down the tracks before it stopped with the car wedged on its front, Hardeeville interim city manager Ted Felder said.

"They tried to get around the mast arm and beat the train," Felder said. "They were not able to do it."The incident occurred at about 9 p.m. at the intersection of S.C. 46 and U.S. 17.

Authorities believe none of the 22 passengers or five Amtrak employees on the train was injured.

A team of Highway Patrol officials and the Jasper County Coroner were investigating late Monday, Felder said.Gary Sease, a spokesman for CSX, said the train was heading south.

According to the Amtrak Web site, the train involved likely was the 89 Palmetto that leaves Charleston at 7:15 p.m. and was due to arrive in Savannah at 9:03 p.m.