KELSO, Wash. (AP) — Officials say two people are dead after an Amtrak train struck a car in southwest Washington.

BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas says it happened at a private railroad crossing about 7½ miles north of Kelso at about 9:30 a.m. Friday. The train was heading from Portland, Oregon, to Seattle.

The Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office says the two people in the car, described as a female and a male, died instantly.

The sheriff's office says as the train approached, one vehicle safely crossed the tracks but was followed by the car which seemed to not notice the oncoming train.

The sheriff's office says the driver of the first vehicle was the mother of one of the deceased.

Authorities are investigating. The tracks were shut down and all Amtrak and freight trains were being held.

Melonas said there are stop signs and railroad crossing signs at the intersection where the collision occurred.