(Cohoes, New York – August 5, 2011)
Mass confusion reigned in the wake of a tragic fatality/serious injury collision between a Chrysler SUV driven by an elderly couple, and a Canadian Pacific Rail freight train Friday night about 7:00 P.M. at the New Courtland Street crossing of CP Rail tracks in Cohoes, NY.
The train struck the passenger’s side of the vehicle, impaling it upon the front of the locomotive. The car was dragged nearly a quarter of a mile scattering parts of the auto along the tracks from point of impact until the train finally stopped.
Joan Bagley, the passenger, died in the accident, while her husband, Raymond Bagley, was taken from the scene to Albany Medical Center, where he was admitted in critical condition. Perhaps fueled by the large number of eyewitnesses, reports were made that the gates did not come down in time and the engineer did not sound the train’s horn.
One eyewitness, Aimee Pagan, said “They (the gates) didn’t come right down. Right after the initial hit of the vehicle and that was when the gates came down, and the car was already going down the train tracks.” Other witnesses claimed the gates were down, but so convoluted were reports that Cohoes Chief of Police Bill Heslin twice referred to the railroad as “CSX”, even though the train was CP Rail and the locomotive was a Norfolk Southern unit. CP Rail Spokesman Mike LoVecchio said “the investigation is ongoing and could take several weeks.”