Train Hits Carload of Newspapers, Injures Driver at Non-Gated Crossing
(Stamford, Connecticut – November 17, 2011)
A newspaper carrier for The Stamford Advocate was injured and had her carload of papers scattered when she was surprised at the non-gated crossing of Metro North railroad tracks and River Bend Drive South by a deadheading, empty MTA/MN passenger train early Thursday morning about 5:00 A.M. The crossing has been noted for erratic activity by many motorists.
Marie Mojica, 58, had just left the Advocate’s news room at the River Bend South office complex when the rear of her Ford Station Wagon was struck near the left rear door by the New Canaan-bound train, causing newspapers to be strewn all over the crash site, and making the victim’s vehicle appear “as thought it had been run through a blender,” according to Advocate Staff Writer John Nickerson.
Mojica was taken to Stamford Hospital for treatment of arm and leg injuries, but was released after treatment. She said she didn’t see the train approaching until too late.
“I did not see the flashing lights or hear the warning bell,” she recalled. “By the time I saw the train, I was halfway over the tracks. If I saw it, I would have stopped.”
Meanwhile, fellow Advocate employee Kathy Henderson reported a similar experience just 12 hours earlier. Henderson said she was approaching the crossing Wednesday afternoon about 5:00 P.M., saw the lights begin to flash, and a train was upon the crossing in a few seconds.
“My heart was beating. I was so scared,” she said. “The train came right after the lights came on. It was so fast!”
The crossing was the scene of another injury accident about six weeks ago, and has experienced nine accidents total. Yet, Connecticut DOT Spokesman Judd Everhart said the amount of traffic using the crossing is insufficient to qualify for installation of gates.