FROSTPROOF, Fla. -- Two people were killed early Friday when their minivan was struck by a train in Frostproof. 

  • 2 dead in minivan-CSX train collision in Frostproof
  • Crash on US Hwy 98 at Western Avenue
  • Roadway closed for several hours for investigation

The crash occurred just after 3 a.m. at Highway 98 West at Western Avenue, which is close to Highway 27.

Investigators identified the victims Friday as Emily Moncrief, 23, of Avon Park, and Lyndsay Serey, 23, of Sebring. Moncrief was driving the minivan, and Serey was a passenger.

For residents who live nearby like Kenny Smith, the impact caused a surreal awakening.

"About 3:30 in the morning I heard a loud thump," Smith explained. "I mean, it wasn't something metallic, it was just a loud thump."

Smith told us he's lived near the tracks for the past 15 years, and crossing them as often as he does has never had a problem.

"It's pretty well maintained, they're very vigilant on trying to make sure that it's safe over there," Smith said. "They blow their horn like they're supposed to, they do everything they're supposed to, in my eyes."

"Just got to be a good driver?" he continued. "You just got to be attentive to what you're doing."

Polk County Sheriff's Office deputies have responded to the scene and Department of Transportation officials are investigating and rerouting traffic. 

Highway 98 was closed for several hours and reopened at about 11:30 a.m.

"An unfortunate situation," said Polk County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Brian Bruchey. "Right now, we're collecting evidence onscene and seeing if there are any witnesses and talking to those involved."