(Ripley, New York – August 24, 2017)
A 58-year-old local woman driving an SUV was killed at about 3:30 P.M., EDT. It was thought she mistook crossing signals operating at parallel CSX/NS non-gated crossings about 50 yards apart to be flashing for a train passing on a second track over Goodrich Street in Ripley, NY.
Marilyn L. Triana was driving southbound on Goodrich when her vehicle was struck by a westbound CSX freight, dragged half the length of a football field, overturned and burst into flames, killing her.
New York State Police officers investigating the fatality speculated that the victim thought the lights were flashing for the Norfolk Southern crossing, only 50 yards ahead of her, where other cars were stopped for a NS freight crossing its own tracks.
“It is unknown at this time if she was avoiding the lights to cross or was preoccupied with the third set of tracks and the other (passing train) and did not see the train on her tracks,” said NYSP Capt. Eric Balon.
How each of the two crossings had managed only two previous accidents and killed one at each is amazing when one considers that “State Police noted there are no gates at the railroad crossings on Goodrich Street, though there are lights in place,” according to The Jamestown Post-Journal.
“My aunt was killed on those tracks, too, commented Cindy Duplanti to the Post-Journal. “They need gates bad(ly) there, and should be made to do so!”
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, 18 NS trains cross that railroad’s single track rail line daily at maximum allowable speeds of 60 mph. While the double-track CSX crossing sees a daily average of 41 trains which can travel at a speed of up to 75 mph.