Transit officials said severe ice and snowy conditions put the crossing gates into a "down and active" position following normal procedure in the case of a power outage or lack of signal. The gates moved into an upward position and stayed that way through the crash after an employee arrived at the location.
"The agency has never had an accident like this before, and UTA is investigating why and how it happened to ensure it doesn't occur again," the Utah Transit Authorities said in a news release.
Investigators are looking specifically at whether human error caused the accident, or if it was the result of a failure in the transit authority's protocols and procedures.
"Safety is the agency's top priority, and we are committed to a thorough and accurate review of this incident to ensure we are providing a safe transit system to our customers," the transit authority said.
Appropriate safety oversight agencies and officials have been notified and are monitoring UTA's investigation. Following completion of the investigation, all appropriate actions will be implemented to prevent this from happening in the future.