Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Yet Another Reminder To Stay Off Tracks

How many times do I have to post stories like this? Earlier today, a woman was killed by an oncoming train in Ramsay, New Jersey because she ignored the crossing gates and was struck by a train passing through the station on the other track.
The incident remains under investigation, but it appears the woman walked behind Train 1145, a northbound train, which had just arrived at the station, and was then hit by a southbound train on the express tracks, Stessel said.

Several witnesses said they saw the woman crossing the tracks with her head down and possibly texting on her cell phone.

“She never even looked up,” said Dave Macrie, who saw the accident as he waited for the Hoboken-bound express train. “The collision was as head on as it could be.”

Macrie said several people screamed as the train approached.

“They were yelling, ‘Oh my God’ ... the train was 8 feet away from her,” he said.

Stessel said the conductor sounded his horn to indicate his arrival, and “then, as soon as he saw the woman, he laid on the horn and pulled the emergency brake, but he was unable to stop.”

Trains on the Main, Bergen and Port Jervis lines resumed a normal schedule by 9:30 a.m., after operating with 30-minute delays during the morning rush hour.

Ramsey was one of several stations to have supplemental pedestrian fencing installed a few years ago to prevent passengers from sidestepping the crossing gates.
I'm constantly amazed at the stupidity of people who attempt to cross tracks when the gates are down. They will walk around the crossing gates, walk under the gates, and otherwise generally ignore all caution all to cross ahead of oncoming trains.

If you misjudge the speed of the oncoming train (which is all too possible when there are express trains that cross regularly in between local trains), or you trip and fall on the tracks themselves, you can end up quite and truly dead.

This woman appears to have completely ignored the signage, warning gates and lights, and didn't have a chance with the oncoming train mere feet away.

Now, the engineer of that train will have to live with the knowledge that he was at the controls when his train struck and killed a pedestrian.

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