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Driver dies in train, SUV crash
Passenger sustains moderate injuries
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An injured passenger is being taken to an ambulance following a train versus SUV collision on Walnut Avenue on Tuesday. - photo by GLENN KAHL

A 39-year-old Manteca motorist died and his 30-year-old passenger was injured in a crash with a northwest bound Union Pacific freight train at the Walnut Avenue crossing just after 11 a.m. Tuesday

One witness to the crash told Manteca Police officers that the man was driving southbound on North Walnut Avenue when he gunned the engine of his 1998 Ford Expedition and drove around the crossing gates.

The impact propelled the vehicle through a fence into a nearby grassy field where it overturned pinning the two men inside.  The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The passenger was transported to an area hospital.  The SUV came to rest some 100 feet from the impact with the diesel locomotive of a short haul train.  Both rear wheels had been knocked off the vehicle.

The names of the two men are expected to be released on Wednesday after relatives have been notified.