Derby railroad crossing a concern after Harlem Line crash

DERBY, Conn. (WTNH) — Some Derby drivers worry about a train intersection on Division Street as red lights on Pershing Drive can back up cars.

“It’s kind of confusing and sometimes people get stuck on the tracks,” said Kelsey Brunner. “It’s definitely a hazard.”

“Some people think it’s okay to sit on the track even though there are signs that say don’t sit on the tracks,” said Rhonda Torres.

It’s on many minds after a Metro-North Harlem Line train crashed into an SUV that was stuck in traffic and between the crossing arms in Valhalla, N.Y. Tuesday night. The third rail went through the car and train. Six people died.

“It could happen here,” said Derby’s Denise Stromp.

Derby did see an accident in 2006, and 82-year-old Lina Lucarelli survived the impact. She sat down with News 8’s Kent Pierce back then and recounted the crash.

“The next thing I knew was that barrier that goes in front crashed down on my car and that’s all I remember,” said Lucarelli in a sling.

Despite concerns, Derby police say they’re not going to police the intersection differently, and people need to be aware and read the signs that say “do not stop on tracks.” The Federal Railroad Administration reports that 94-percent of collisions are due to risky behavior on behalf of the driver.

Lawmakers say they want to see changes made to the railroads as many of them gathered near the crash site in New York.

“These gate crossings are literally accidents waiting to happen,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. “Much of the technology used here dates from the last century.”

“The questions about the third rail and about this crossing loom large,” said Sen. Chuck Shumer, D-N.Y. “We need answers.”

The NTSB is still investigating the direct cause of the crash.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s