(Milton, Pennsylvania — May 14, 2012)Students at Milton (PA) Area High School are mourning the tragic death of one of their peers, 17-year-old junior Maxine Eschbach, who was a passenger in a car driven by fellow junior Kim Bergenstock, 16, when it was struck by a Norfolk Southern freight train at the non-gated crossing of Center Street and NS railroad tracks in Milton, PA Monday afternoon about 4:30 P.M.
The Center Street crossing is equipped with flashing lights, but does not have crossing gates to protect motorists from contact with trains. The victims were wearing their seat belts, but the car was dragged for two blocks by the 50 mph train before it finally dislodged the vehicle the girls were in at the Mahoning Street crossing.
Bergenstock was rushed to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA where she was admitted and remained in critical condition two days after the tragic accident. Northumberland County Coroner James F. Kelley pronounced Eschbaugh dead at the scene at 5:35 P.M., and said an autopsy would be performed Wednesday at the Lehigh Valley Medical Center in Allentown, PA.
Although a heavy rain was falling at the time of the accident, Milton Police on the scene gave no cause for the accident.