A mother and her two-year-old son have died after a train smashed into an SUV Wednesday morning in Notre-Dame-des-Prairies, just north of Joliette in the Lanaudiere region.

The collision happened just before 10 a.m. at a level crossing on Rang de la Deuxieme Chaloupe. There are lights but no barrier at that train crossing.

The victims are a 32-year-old woman and her young son, who were rushed to hospital in critical condition but were not able to survive their injuries.

They've been identified as Josiane Marion and her two-year-old son Jacob Lepine. They lived in Sainte Elisabeth, just a few kilometres from where the crash took place.

It's not known if their vehicle had stopped on the tracks, but there are reports of heavy fog on the road at the time of the crash.

“At the time of the accident this morning, there was a big, big, fog. Was that a part of the accident? Were the lights on at the crossroads here? Those are still things that we're going to be looking at.” Said Surete du Quebec Sgt. Benoit Richard.

Coroner Pierre Belisle will be looking into the accident and may recommend the installation of a barrier at the crossing.

First, he said, he wants to know exactly what went wrong.

“It could be the climate condition. It could be the condition of the vehicle driver. It could be the condition of mechanic of the car. It… could come from the train. I don't know. I will know after the investigation,” he said.

A total of 21 passengers and several staff people were aboard the Via Rail train, which had just left the Joliette station en route to Jonquiere-Senneterre, about 500 km northwest of the crash site.

Nobody aboard the train was hurt, and Via has hired buses to transport passengers to their destination.

In a statement, the Office of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada said it had dispatched a team to the scene of the accident.

With files from The Canadian Press