What to Know
- A woman died from her injuries after a SEPTA train collided with her SUV during the Monday morning commute.
- Surveillance video obtained by NBC10 shows the deadly crash.
- Investigators say the woman tried to drive around the railroad arms, unaware that a train was passing through.
A woman died from her injuries after a SEPTA train collided with her SUV during the Monday morning commute.
The SEPTA train made impact with the driver side of the SUV at Union Avenue in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, shortly after 9 a.m. The train then appeared to drag the SUV along the tracks before coming to a stop with the SUV still against the front of the commuter train.
The unidentified woman was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead Tuesday. None of the 300 passengers on the train were seriously hurt.
All service on the Media/Elwyn Line was suspended until trains began running again around noon, SEPTA said.
SEPTA brought in buses to get passengers on the train to their destinations.
The intersection where the crash took place has rail crossing markers, arm bars and light-up signs. Investigators say the railroad arms were triggered by a train heading towards Media. The drivers who were stopped thought the arms were stuck in the down position after the initial train passed.
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Surveillance video obtained by NBC10 shows the first two vehicles driving around the railroad arms. Yet just as the third vehicle tries to follow, it's struck when it enters the path of a second train heading inbound less than two minutes later.
The train pushed the vehicle down the tracks more than 500 feet from the point of initial impact, investigators said. Louis Billa told NBC10 he heard the crash.
"We hear a screeching sound and it sounded like someone blowing up," Billa said. "The next thing we know, tires bursting and blowing and turn around and look and there's a train, car going straight down the track in front of the train."
Billa is spotted on surveillance running towards the vehicle after the crash.
"I seen the car mangled up and the lady's head sitting right there over in the seat," he said.
Billa told NBC10 he often sees drivers trying to go around the railroad signs.
"People don't obey the law or the railroad signs," he said. "If they are in a rush they are going to go around the railroad signs and try and beat that train."
All safety measures at the crossing were working properly, according to Jim Fox of SEPTA.
"The gates and flashers were working appropriately," Fox said. "For whatever reason the drivers decided to take that chance to drive around the gates. You are only asking for trouble if you do that."
Officials continue to investigate. The SUV was towed from the scene.