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A 35-year-old woman is in critical condition after a Via Rail train struck her van in Coteau-du-Lac, about 50 kilometres west of Montreal.

According to the Sûreté du Québec, the van was struck as it crossed the tracks around 7:45 a.m. on Monday.

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The woman was transported to a hospital with serious injuries and doctors fear for her life.

The SQ has deployed investigators to determine the circumstances that led to the collision.

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According to preliminary information gathered by the SQ, it appears the vehicle was in the process of crossing the track — and was not stopped — at the moment of the collision.

“No hypothesis has been proposed at this moment, whether it was driver inattention or a malfunction of the equipment that announces a train is coming,” said SQ spokesperson Louis-Philippe Ruel.

The passenger train was heading from Montreal to Toronto. Nobody on board was injured, but the train had to stop for part of the morning so officers could carry out their investigation.

“Via Rail Train 61, which was travelling between Montreal and Toronto, was involved in a non-fatal accident when it struck a vehicle at a level crossing on a farm,” the company said in a statement.

“Emergency services and local authorities were contacted and the tracks were closed during the investigation, causing delays of around three hours for Via Rail Trains 61, 73 and 33.”

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