A driver who tried to go around railroad crossing gates in Santa Ana Monday was killed when a train slammed into his vehicle, police said.

The collision happened just before 12:40 p.m. at Hunter and Grand avenues, and the motorist was pronounced dead at the scene, Santa Ana police Cmdr. Joe Marty said.

Witnesses told police the driver was northbound on Grand when he tried to go around the downed crossing gates and the train rammed the vehicle, the sergeant said.

Some witnesses told police they saw the man sitting in his vehicle in the train station parking lot for 10 to 20 minutes before the train arrived, and then he pulled out and went around the crossing gates.

“Was he trying to beat the train or run into it is yet to be determined,” Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.

A Metrolink official said the collision involved a freight train.

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