Police have named the husband and wife who were killed when their car was involved in a collision with an empty coal train near Inangahua yesterday.

They were Robert James Jacobs, 66, and Marieta Ocba Jacobs, 43, of Reefton.

Formal identification of Mrs Jacobs is yet to be completed with family overseas.

The crash happened shortly before 1pm at an uncontrolled level crossing.

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Police said a serious crash investigation was under way and the matter would be referred to the coroner.