By THE BORNEOTODAY TEAM
BEAUFORT: An elderly man, his wife and teenage daughter perished in a collision between the van they were travelling in and a train near Kampung Memanjang, near here at about 2.40pm Tuesday.
The dead were identified as Majinon bin Matunjung, 78, a Kadazan man from Kampung Klias Baru, Beaufort, his wife, Noor Lela Binti Roslan, 42, Jawanese, and their daughter, Lestary Binti Majinon, 17, a form 5 student.
Their two other children, Lamisah, 13, and Missah, 15 were critically injured in the crash that occured during a heavy downpour, along with Majinon’s granddaughter, Siti Nurfarhana Binti Fredy, 2, and his daughter in law, Sufiena Binti Razali, 22, both from Kampung Beaufort Selatan
It is learnt that all 25 people, including the driver, on board the train escaped unscathed.
According to the Beaufort Fire and Rescue chief Runzee Abd Thani, the seven were heading home prior to the mishap.
It is believed that the van Majinon was driving, was going across an unmarked rail-road crossing during heavy rain when the collision occurred.
Runzee said the front of the van was badly mangled, and the couple who were pinned to their front seats sare said to have died on the spot, while Lestary was flung out of the vehicle.
She too was dead by the time medical personnel arrived at the scene.
“We had to use cutters to cut open the front part of the van before we could extricate the victims,” he said.
Meanwhile, Beaufort police chief, Deputy Superintendent Azmir Abd Razak confirmed the accident but said they were still gathering full information as to how the accident occurred.
Women, Family and Community Development deputy minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun Banir reminded those living along the railway tracks to exercise caution especially when using unmarked railway crossing.
Azizah, who is also Beaufort MP, was quoted saying she personally knew the couple and their daughter, describing the fifth-former as a bright student.
“It has been raining heavily in Beaufort over the past few days and it is possible that the driver may not have realised the oncoming train when making the crossing,” she added.