(Brunswick, Maine February 26, 2020)
A 61-year-old resident of Brunswick, Maine was calling herself “lucky to be alive” after the 2001 Toyota RAV4 SUV was clipped and demolished by a Central Maine & Quebec freight train. The collision occurred at the dangerous and unguarded private crossing of the entrance road to the New Meadows Motel where she was staying Monday afternoon about 12:15 PM, EST.
Brunswick Police verified that Coretta Harrison was stopped and waiting for the train when it hit the front panel of her vehicle. The crash sent her to the Mid-Coast Hospital in Brunswick, where she was treated for her painful injuries.
“It’s not fair what happened to me at all. I wasn’t on the tracks,” the victim complained to News Writer Darcie Moore of the Brunswick Times-Record, who also reported that “There is no (crossing) gate at the private crossing.”
Neither were there flashing lights to warn motorists of the approach of the two Central Maine & Quebec trains that roll through Brunswick on an average day at 25 mph. The near-fatal crash was the first recorded at the unguarded road/rail intersection.
The railroad involved in this collision was the same common carrier which, prior to a 2013 bankruptcy under the ownership of another rail group and name (Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway) had a crude oil train get away from its supposedly-secured and parked position and derailed in the downtown area of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, killing 47 people and devastating the town on July 5, 2014.
The current operation is owned by the Fortress Investment Group, LLC, through its subsidiary Railroad Acquisition Holdings LLC, which also owns the Florida East Coast Railway.