Moments after the northbound Norfolk Southern train slammed into the Chevy Blazer at the crossing, firefighters rushed to help John and Tabitha Morrison and the 3 children inside.
“They were scared, cold, didn't know what was going on. They were upset all around,” said firefighter Wayne Phelps of the shape the kids were in.
Police say John Morrison was heading east over the tracks but they don't know why he didn't stop for the train, which could have been going about 50 miles per hour. An official with Norfolk Southern Railroad says 50 mph is the “speed limit” for trains in that area.
Police say the three children, 5 year old Jessica Sparks, 4 year old Shawn Biggs and 2 year old John "little Bub" Morrison were able to escape the wreckage.
“The kids didn't seem to be hurt, they were shook up, scared. The man and woman were flown to UK hospital,” said Science Hill Police Chief William Gossett.
“I spoke with the dad, he just said ‘my leg was hurting very bad’, He asked me to get him out of there,” said Phelps.
The children were taken to a Somerset hospital. The five and two year-olds were treated and released, but Shawn Biggs,4, was later taken to UK Hospital in Lexington.
Shawn Biggs and John Morrison were both listed in serious condition. The hospital did not have a condition available for Tabitha Morrison.
Firefighters rescued one of the children from water that had frozen over near the tracks.
“He had a few cuts, the water froze his jacket, there were a few minor injuries,” said Phelps.
Police say the cross bars and lights should have been working, but the accident is under investigation by both the Science Hill police department and Norfolk Southern Railroad.