(Clayton, New Jersey – October 19, 2012)
A 28-year-old mother and her six-month-old infant child received what police described as “life threatening injuries” Friday morning at about 8:35 A.M. at the non-gated crossing of West Chestnut Street and Conrail/CSX railroad tracks in Clayton, NJ. Their 1998 Toyota Camry was struck by a CSX freight train, impaling the automobile upon the front of the locomotive and carrying it 286 yards down the tracks.
Netice Turan and her young child, who was properly secured in a child safety seat in the car’s rear seat, were both rushed to Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ, where they were admitted with undisclosed injuries of extremely serious nature.
The crossing of West Chestnut Street, which is on railroad tracks owned by Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) and operated by CSX, is equipped with flashing lights, which police said were operating at the time, but has no crossing gates to protect motorists from collisions with passing trains. The Federal Railroad Administration says the crossing accommodates only four trains daily at a top speed of 25 mph, but how a train travelling at that speed could carry an auto nearly the length of three football fields is physically inexplicable.
The crossing is located in a residential area and next to the Herma Simmons Elementary School.
Investigating the accident were officers of the Clayton Police Dept. and the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office.