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The level crossing at Campbell Street and 13th Avenue in Regina, seen just after a collision there Saturday morning between a train and a car, has since been cleared of snow. ((Kent Morrison/CBC))

Deep ruts in snow on a level railway crossing in Regina are to blame for a collision between a train and car, police say.

The people in the car, a man and a woman, were able to get out of the vehicle before it was hit, around 2:36 a.m. CST Saturday, at a level crossing at Campbell Street and 13th Avenue.

"[The driver] was with his girlfriend, driving her home from work," Staff Sgt. Corey Zaharuk said later Saturday morning. "When he approached the rail tracks at Thirteenth Avenue, the car got hung up on the ruts from the snow and ice near and on the tracks.

"A westbound train was chugging down the track," Zaharuk continued. The couple inside bailed out and moved to a safe distance.

Even though the train engineer deployed an emergency brake, the locomotive could not stop in time and the car was struck.

"There was no derailment nor any injuries or apparent damage to the train or rail line," Zaharuk noted, although the car was smashed.

He said the wreckage was cleared away within an hour.

The collision was still under investigation Saturday, but Zaharuk noted the driver had been sober.

Crossings get cleared, city says

An official with the city of Regina told CBC News Saturday that level railway crossings are a priority for snow clearing crews.

George Galloway, the manager of storm response and snow removal, said the crossing at 13th Avenue has been plowed since the accident. He said all crossings are supposed to be checked daily.

"Railroad crossings would be very important intersections," Galloway said. 

Galloway said he wanted to see the police report on the crash.

"I can't comment specifically," Galloway said about the collision. "But I am quite surprised that a vehicle got struck on the rail crossing. And I don't pretend to know what caused that to happen at this point."

With files from CBC's Sheryl Rennie