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No Whistle as MTA Train Injures Mother, Daughter at Dangerous, Unguarded Crossing

(Milford, Connecticut – May29, 2011)

A Massachusetts Transportation Authority Metro-North railroad crossing which has drawn numerous complaints from area residents became the site of serious injuries for two of those area residents Sunday afternoon about 3:00 P.M.

A northbound Metro-North commuter train carrying 100 passengers struck an auto driven by a 40-year-old Victoria Beese with her 7-year-old daughter, Emily Beese, as a passenger at a railroad crossing near Herbert Street in Milford, CT. The victims were part of a family gathering at a nearby picnic site and were making a run home for more supplies when the accident occurred. Family members felt that the only reason both victims survived the collision was that the train hit the car’s passenger side.

Metro-North Spokesman Sam Zambuto said that “the railroad crossing is classified as a private crossing, and does not have flashing lights or gates. However, it is federally mandated that all trains blow a whistle at all railroad grade-level crossings.” But the family, who lives by the tracks, said they heard no train whistle before the crash, and, in fact, have complained about Metro-North trains not sounding their whistles at this crossing in the past.

In addition, witnesses told WTNV-TV, Channel 8 Reporter Bob Wilson that only two days earlier a meeting of area residents was held because of the inherent danger posed by the crossing equipped solely with signs. The victims, who were extricated by family members from the demolished, overturned car prior to the arrival of emergency services, were transported to Bridgeport Hospital, where they were listed in stable condition following their admission.