(Palo Alto, California – May 6, 2011)
The investigation into the tragic April 15 death of an Indiana woman, Judy Goldblatt, , has resulted in Caltrain’s initiation of slower speeds for all trains at the crossing where the Goldblatt’s rental car was hit.
The vehicle, which also contained her husband, dean emeritus of the Indiana University School of Dentistry Lawrence Goldblatt, was struck by a Caltrain express train travelling at 79 miles per hour. The Goldblatt’s car was trapped on the crossing by rush hour traffic, ahead of and behind them. Mr. Goldblatt exited the passenger side of the entrapped rental car in an attempt to assist Mrs. Goldblatt from the driver’s side door when the train barreled into the vehicle, killing Mrs. Goldblatt instantly and leaving her husband physically unscathed.
The slow order affects every Caltrain train passing over the Charleston Road railroad crossing according to Mark Simon, spokesman for Caltrain’s governing body, The Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, and although he would not say how greatly the speed had been reduced, he did call it “significant.”
Volunteers with “Track Watch”, a train suicide prevention group called the Charleston Road crossing “an accident waiting to happen.” The train slowdown has been ongoing since the accident.
According to nearby residents, the warning bells at Charleston Road are quieter and the lights and gates are no longer synchronized since upgrades were made to the crossing in March, 2011 as part of a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority pedestrian and bike safety improvement program.
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