(Yates County, New York – May 10, 2013)
Three teenage girls escaped death, but not injury, Friday night at about 9:00 P.M. in the unincorporated Yates County, NY village of Torrey, NY when their car collided with a Norfolk Southern freight train at the dangerous, unguarded crossing of NS railroad tracks and Kings Hill Road.
One of the young victims was treated by paramedics at the scene for superficial injuries, but the other two girls required hospital treatment. Keianna Borum, 16, was airlifted by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY for treatment of severe back pain, and Angela Bruno, 14, was transported by ground ambulance to Soldiers & Sailors Hospital in Penn Yan, where she remained hospitalized Saturday for treatment of undisclosed neck injuries.
Yates County Sheriff’s Deputy Brad Conover said that when first responders arrived at the scene, all three victims were out of the wrecked vehicle and in dazed condition. The westbound auto was struck on the driver’s side by the northbound train.
The crossing of NS Railway tracks and Kings Hill Road, which the Federal Railroad Administration says is equipped only with passive, standard railroad crossbuck signs, and is utilized by a only a few trains daily at a top allowable speed of 30 mph, but still has none of the active protective devices such as flashing lights, bells and crossing gates, a system which an Association of American Railroads (AAR) study claimed could prevent 93% of accidents such as occurred Friday night.
Besides the Yates County SO, agencies responding to the near-tragedy were the Penn Yan Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Medic 55, Dresden Fire Dept., Yates County Office of Emergency Management and troopers of the New York State Police.