ZEELAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A 17-year-old girl died Monday after a crash involving her car and a train in Zeeland Township.
The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office says Samantha Lubbers was coming out of her driveway off Chicago Drive at about 2:40 p.m. when she drove her car onto the railroad tracks.
The train struck the passenger side of the car, which rolled over. Lubbers was extricated by first responders and airlifted to a hospital, where she died.
"I was really shocked," her friend Faith Bauer said. "This is the kind of thing that you don't think will happen to you or the people close to you. So it really did come as a shock."
Lubbers was just finishing up her junior year at Covenant Christian High School. Her friends say it's a tragic loss, and that she had so many joyous qualities she shared with them daily.
"She was always extremely caring," said Bauer. "She was always the first person to say 'hi.'"
Bauer says Samantha had many infectious qualities: endless positivity, enthusiasm and genuine kindness were just a few.
"I know that she was really loved, especially among her peers" Bauer said. "She had some really close friends, and I know that her senior year, it's something that everyone looks forward to."
The crash remains under investigation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.