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At Least 7 Dead in Crash Between Train and SUV

A crash between a Metro-North commuter train and an SUV led to the deaths of at least seven people and injuries to a dozen more on Tuesday, February 3. The accident occurred during peak rush hour in Valhalla in Westchester County.

A spokesperson from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority says that the SUV was going past a crossing in Valhalla when the train suddenly struck it. The vehicle was stopped on the tracks at the time of the accident, with the driver getting out to look at the rear of the car. At this time it is unclear why the driver had stopped on the tracks, and an investigation has been launched into the matter to try to figure out more details about what happened in the case.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says it’s fortunate that more people in the front section of the train were not killed — videos recorded by passengers show that much of the front car and the SUV went up into flames, with smoke pouring out of the train even hours after the fire had been extinguished by local firefighters. Of the 12 people who suffered injuries in the accident, 10 were seriously hurt. Six of the deaths were passengers on the train car, and the other was the female driver of the SUV. There were between 800 and 850 people on the train at the time of the accident.

Metro-North has been the subject of a great deal of criticism within the last couple of years for the amount of accidents that have involved its trains. The National Transportation Safety Board ruled on five different accidents last year that occurred in 2013 and 2014, with fault being found in the railroad in all five cases. The NTSB says that conditions have improved in the company, but there is a clear history of safety concerns with Metro-North trains. At this point, it is difficult to say who was at fault in the accident.

If you or someone close to you suffers an injury involving public transportation in Long Island, meet with the dedicated attorneys at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP.

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