An elderly Dumas couple was killed early Thursday morning when their vehicle was struck by a train in Desha County.
Billy Persons, 77, and Patty Persons, 70, both of Dumas, died in the accident which occurred around 7:32 a.m.
Arkansas State Trooper Clayton McWilliams said Patty Persons, the driver of the vehicle, was traveling north on State Police Road — a gravelled county road that runs parallel to the railroad and U.S. 65 — before turning east into the path of the oncoming train.
The front tires of the vehicle had made it to the asphalt of U.S. 65 when the accident occurred, according to McWilliams.
McWilliams said the engineer told him that he sounded the train’s horn but the couple didn’t appear to realize the train was coming.
There is no crossing gate but there is a stop sign, according to McWilliams.
While McWilliams didn’t say it was a contributing factor, he did note that the area was experiencing high winds with gusts up to 40 miles per hour when the accident occurred.
The couple died at the scene but were transported to the hospital where they were pronounced dead by Desha County Coroner Joe Wilkin, according to McWilliams.