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The married couple killed Monday in Valley County when a train struck their pickup truck at a railroad crossing have been identified.

Dillon Cassel, 32, and Biaka Cassel, 27, died west of Glasgow where the railroad intersects with Tampico Highway, Valley County Sheriff Tom Boyer told the Gazette.

The two were turning onto Tampico Highway, also known as Route 246, from Liberty Road when a BNSF Railway freight train going 65 mph collided with their vehicle. Both were killed on impact, Boyer said. The force of the impact caused Dillon Cassel, who was driving the truck, to be ejected. 

The crash, which is still under investigation by Montana Highway Patrol, occurred around 12:10. Neither drugs or alcohol are considered to be factors in the wreck, according to a preliminary report from MHP. Snow was packed onto Liberty Road, which rises about six feet as it approaches the railroad crossing. 

Although the two were married, Boyer said Biaka Cassel was a citizen of Thailand, and he is currently trying to get in touch with Thailand’s Embassy to inform her next of kin.

The crossing is marked with cross bucks and a yield sign. Fatalities in neighboring Roosevelt County have spurred investigations by the Montana Department of Transportation into improving railroad crossing safety.

In November, infrastructure legislation authored in part by Sen. Jon Tester was signed into law. Among its provisions was $10 million annually in grants through 2026 for projects throughout the country related to railway crossing safety.

This article originally ran on billingsgazette.com.


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