Investigators told Channel 2 Action News that the driver of the SUV tried to go around a railroad crossing gate that had already gone down, Covington police spokesman Wendell Wagstaff said.
The collision occurred shortly after 1 p.m. at the intersection of US 278 and Ga. 81 (Emory Street) in Covington.
Channel 2 Action News reporter Tony Thomas went to the scene to gather details, where witnesses said the driver of the Honda Pilot tried to beat a passing CSX train as other cars waited.
"We just heard a loud noise," said Dave Lucas. "The gates were down."
A Georgia State trooper told Thomas that two adults, both are in their late 50s or early 60s, were airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital with critical injuries.
Investigators said the vehicle landed upside down about 50 yards from the point of impact.
Thomas said you could hear gospel music still plays from the speakers in the mangled SUV as investigators worked to gather information. He also noticed a guitar and groceries tossed between airbags.
"Can't race a train, can't race the train. The train can't stop," said Lucas.