Valhalla, NY: NTSB issues preliminary report

25 Feb

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued a preliminary report on the crash between a Metro-North passenger train and a SUV in Valhalla on February 3rd, 2015 in which five passengers and the driver of the SUV were killed.

The NTSB report states that the SUV was stopped with the rear of the vehicle in line with a level crossing barrier while the crossing closure sequence automatically lowered the barrier which struck the SUV. The NTSB says that this led to the motorist to leave her vehicle in order to look at the rear where it had been struck by the lowering barrier. The NTSB further states that the woman then returned to her vehicle and moved it forward at which point it was struck by a train travelling at 58 mph when an emergency brake application was initiated about 90 metres before the crossing slowing the train to 49 mph at the point of impact

The north bound train pushed the eastbound SUV about 200 metres along the track. As result of the collision the traction current third rail detached from its mountings, pierced the SUV and entered the leading vehicle through the floor. In total 12 sections of the third rail, each 12 metres long were found inside the leading vehicle.

Metro-North has estimated the material damage from the crash alone amounts to be USD3.7 million.


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