(RNN) – A brother and sister, ages 3 and 2, were struck by a train in Indiana on Tuesday, killing the boy and leaving the girl in critical condition.
Caleb and Ellie Wilson were struck by a freight train at around 9:30 a.m., The Times of Northwest Indiana newspaper reported.
Family members weren’t sure how the children got onto the train track, though the paper reported they believed the pair sneaked out of their house and went wandering.
Their parents, Kelsey Benson and Jacob Wilson, as well as other adult family members, were searching for them when they were struck.
“I was standing out there this morning and I heard the train blow its horn,” Robert Gowens, who lives in a mobile home park that sits along the track, told the The Times. “The conductor was waving his arm. It just makes you want to hold your kids tighter.”
— nwi.com (@nwi) August 7, 2018
This is a year old picture of the kids hit by a CSX train in Portage IN today. Caleb Wilson, 3, on right, died. His sister Ellie, 2, was airlifted to Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago. pic.twitter.com/qiXpmUiF1G
— Ravi Baichwal (@BaichwalABC7) August 7, 2018
The police chief of Portage, where the accident occurred, said that, “Basically, two toddlers were on the track and the train couldn’t get stopped in time,” the Chicago Tribune reported.
Portage is about an hour from Chicago.
“Caleb is a train person,” the children’s step-grandmother, Denise Benson, told The Times. “Caleb loves trains and, of course, little Ellie follows Caleb everywhere.”
An aunt, Destiny Lewis, said “they were the sweetest things” and “full of joy.”
An investigation into the accident is ongoing.
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