A vehicle left on train tracks in Swanton on Thursday night was struck by a passing train, causing a derailment and a power outage.
The train, traveling west at approximately 10:17 p.m., struck a Chevy Tahoe that had been abandoned on the tracks west of Main Street. The accident caused 13 train cars to derail between Main Street and Munson Road, some dangerously close to homes along the tracks.
Residents in the immediate area were evacuated due to the possibility of a gas explosion. The evacuation order was lifted overnight.
The crash caused an outage for over 4,000 electric customers. It was restored to nearly all of them by Friday morning.
In addition to the Tahoe and the train, three other parked and empty passenger cars were struck by debris after the initial crash.
No injuries were reported. Cleanup is expected to last until at least the end of the day Friday. Cars are being moved to the practice football field off of Dodge Street, according to village officials.
There is no water boil advisory for the village.
Josh Kohlhofer, a 2018 Swanton High School graduate and Bowling Green State University student, and two other Swanton residents, McKenzie Warne and Dustin Sego, were driving down Main Street when they saw the vehicle stuck on the tracks and say they got out to help the driver. She appeared intoxicated, according to Kohlhofer, who pulled her out of her car right before the train collided with it.
He said the driver, who appeared to be about 18-19 years old, fled the scene immediately, heading north on Main Street. There is no word as to the identity of the driver.
Both Main Street and Munson Road remained closed near the tracks. The area near Dodge and Ivy streets should also be avoided.
The Enterprise will have more information as it becomes available.